Why a Wall?

 

“…and I’ll make Mexico pay for it!”

Who cares if Mexico pays for it? We’re arguing over $5,000,000,000 in the budget; it’s an unimaginably huge amount in terms of my pocket book but the federal government wastes that much money on nothing every day. Yeah, I darn well would prefer if the feds didn’t waste all that money all the time. Border defense constitutes one of the fundamental duties of the government, and I’m willing to pay for it. The question then becomes what’s the best way to go about it?

Well, you’ve got other options: E-verify. Better enforcement on visa overstays. Radar and helicopters and active border patrol units, hey, that’s what we already do. Why don’t we just beef up the current operations?

The problem is, as it always is, politics. Without going into it too deep, look at Marco Rubio. In 2010 he was the Tea Party’s golden boy; he articulated conservative ideas well, he was young, good-looking, and he was actually a minority so that none of that Democrat identity politics would work on him. And then the Gang of Eight happened. The Tea Party’s golden boy was proposing amnesty.

My point isn’t to pick on Rubio in particular. Politicians lie, always have, always will. You gotta figure they’ll always look out for #1. But that usually comes in the form of pandering to your voters and your donors; makes one wonder why the GOP so consistently lurches to the left of its base on immigration. I’ve seen a number of explanations and none that seem complete. My best guess is that the politicians have read the demographic charts, they assume that the ever-growing Hispanic percent of their district will take a strong view on immigration. The votes they’d lose from a smaller portion of the electorate that holds strong views on the subject is going to be more than they’d lose by disappointing their base (who, let’s face it, are already going to vote for ’em over the Democrat).

And, to be fair, there are some perfectly reasonable ideological stances that argue in favor of immigration. More people means a bigger economy. Free trade theoretically includes the free exchange of labor across borders. A lot of people come here to pursue the American dream. Heck, I dislike e-verify simply because I don’t like people tracking my movement, especially the government. Maybe that politician is voting that way based on noble reasoning. If so he shouldn’t have sold his views as something else to the public.

For ages, we’ve had politicians who’ve superficially agreed with us, but can’t ever seem to get the job done. The best we seem to get out of them is boilerplate rhetoric, stuff that’s carefully crafted to sound tough to the base but be easy to walk back later.

And here we get back to Trump; Trump read the market and realized there was an unmet demand. Instead of offering the standard he says he’s going to build a wall, and make Mexico pay for it. People have said they’ll build a wall before, but make Mexico pay for it? You can’t walk that back to appeal to a constituency who supposedly has fond associations with Mexico. Trump wasn’t just taking a position; he was nailing himself in place. The fact that he can’t back down from that position lets his voters believe that, when they vote for immigration restrictions this time, maybe it’ll stick.

And that’s also why the wall itself is important. Take any other measure; if one administration raises the funding for the Border Patrol the next one can lower it again. Helicopters and radar and whatnot can be given and taken away. E-verify can be ignored. But a wall? It’s much harder to take a wall back. The politicians can lie all they want; if they had to spend some serious political capital to tear the wall down, brother, it ain’t gonna happen. Maybe they pull the guards off, maybe they offer amnesty. On the other hand, maybe we’ll get more politicians who realize that their voters don’t like being played for saps.

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  1. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Hank Rhody, Acting on Emotion: And that’s also why the wall itself is important. Take any other measure; if one administration raises the funding for the Border Patrol the next one can lower it again. Helicopters and Radar and whatnot can be given and taken away. E-verify can be ignored. But a wall? It’s much harder to take a wall back. The politicians can lie all they want; if they had to spend some serious political capital to tear the wall down, brother, it ain’t gonna happen. Maybe they pull the guards off, maybe they offer amnesty. On the other hand, maybe we’ll get more politicians who realize that their voters don’t like being played for saps.

    Precisely on point. AND a physical obstacle system is a necessary, foundational, component of any defense. It is not sufficient, as it must have observation and effective fires (direct and indirect), but it is essential to shape movement in favor of defenders. In the border context, there must be effective 24/7 observation of the “wall” and there must be effective laws that repel illegal aliens at the border and expel them expeditiously if they leak through (lawfare counterpart to a military fires (artillery, guns, aviation) plan.

    • #1
  2. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    I’m trying to find one word I disagree with. No luck so far. 

    • #2
  3. Matt Balzer, Straw Bootlegger Member
    Matt Balzer, Straw Bootlegger
    @MattBalzer

    Hank Rhody, Acting on Emotion: My best guess is that the politicians have read the demographic charts, they assume that the ever-growing Hispanic percent of their district will take a strong view on immigration.

    As always, it’s fair to assume they have a strong view. I wouldn’t be so certain that they’re reading the direction of those views correctly.

    • #3
  4. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild
    @JimGoneWild

    Right On! Right On! Right On!

    • #4
  5. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Before President Trump

    Democrats: All Hispanics are Conservative Catholics.

     

    After President Trump

    Democrats: Racists. 

    • #5
  6. DonG Coolidge
    DonG
    @DonG

    Hank Rhody, Acting on Emotion: More people means a bigger economy

    A bigger economy where most Americans are poorer.  What good is it to grow an economy where only a few benefit?  Who benefits from the cheap labor of illegal imigration?  Farming corporations, construction companies, the elites, governments, …  Who loses?  Tax payers and low-skilled Americans.  Legal immigrants (non-chair) are usually higher skilled and English proficient and are able to raise the incomes of communities they join.  It is not about the growing the economy, it is about growing median income!

    • #6
  7. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Hank Rhody, Acting on Emotion: We’re arguing over $5,000,000,000 in the budget; it’s an unimaginably huge amount in terms of my pocket book but the federal government wastes that much money on nothing every day.

    I seem to remember the Obama Administration requesting something like $19B for some specific emergency storm relief effort a few years back.  Our frugal congress-critters promptly rounded it to $40B and passed it without even reading the bill (if anything was really even written down).  $5B is a pork barrel rounding error. 

    In the end, if Mr. Trump gets any amount for the wall, I expect it to be as a small part of a much larger package with lots of We the People‘s cash for a host of progressive causes.  As usual, “we” will lose even if we win.  The future’s so bright…

    • #7
  8. Spin Inactive
    Spin
    @Spin

    Hank Rhody, Acting on Emotion: The Tea Party’s golden boy was proposing amnesty.

    I’ll take issue with this.  It provided a path to citizenship which involved many steps.  And that is based on the simple fact that you ain’t sending all the ee-lee-gulls (that’s how my father in law always said it) back to Mexico.  You just aren’t.  So you provide a way for them to get right with the man, and send ’em back if they screw it up, to the degree you can.  

    The problem with immigration reform is that everyone digs their heels in to their own little patch of dirt.  Like when we refer to a path to citizenship as “proposing amnesty”.  

    • #8
  9. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Hank Rhody, Acting on Emotion:

    But that usually comes in the form of pandering to your voters and your donors; makes one wonder why the GOP so consistently lurches to the left of it’s base on immigration.

    Business donors.  They know it’ll be bad for profits.

    Re paying for it yourself – if the wall was going to be funded by tariffs on goods entering the US you were going to pay for it already.

     

    • #9
  10. Spin Inactive
    Spin
    @Spin

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):
    Democrats: All Hispanics are Conservative Catholics.

    I don’t think I ever heard a Democrat say that.  I did always hear them say “All Hispanics are poor and downtrodden and need our help.  

    • #10
  11. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Obama tanked the economy with just words and a proposal the impact of which was in the future.  The economy turned around with Trump’s election before he could  deregulate much of anything, but he wasn’t Obama and Hillary lost, so there was confidence in the future and investors responded.  Perceptions and expectations are fundamental.  The wall and the approval of the wall does the same thing.  It tells people to our south it’s over, we’re in charge.  We should build the wall and take it from the fumes from the rest of the budget if necessary.  Just do it.

    I’ve been a fan of e-verify, but I also have grave doubts about giving the Federal government the power to enforce it without clear and restrictive guidelines.  Give them power and they use it to harass, basically at the point of a gun, whom they want when they want.  The Feds already have too much power, so we have to be cautious.  I’d like to see a national ID that can be verified electronically by employers, hotels, credit card companies and accepting retailers, welfare and unemployment offices,  and I’d like to see crippling fines for employers who hire illegals but no presumption of guilt, no verification without good verified reason.   Persons stopped for traffic violations or for crimes can be checked as well and applications for credit cards, registering in hotels etc.must be verified.  People in countries with I.D. know their number and it can be verified when the person doesn’t have physical possession of the card, those of us from countries that don’t have national I.D.s are supposed to carry our passports.

    Amnesty must be off the table.  We do need a variety of work visas so seasonal workers can come and return home.  Give them their SS contributions or tax rebates through their own countries, perhaps in our consulates.  There are other issues and circumstances, such as children who don’t have a home country but these are minorities and shouldn’t be an important focus for general legislation.  We used to have an immigration bill every few years that congress would put together from their constituencies  with people who didn’t fit into our laws and who faced hardship.  These were in the hundreds  not tens of thousands or millions and if phony there were few enough to verify.  this gives Congress something to feel good about and help their constituents that doesn’t do permanent harm to our laws and immigration system.

    • #11
  12. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    I believe a wall is a real deterrent. It works, even if that means forcing people to smaller choke points that can be guarded by other means. It should be combined with stronger laws eliminating chain migration and birth rite citizenship. But the wall will work even without better laws. I am discouraged in that the wall may not get built. Remember the original cost was estimated at 25 Billion. Now the government is shut down over a mere 5 Billion down payment. Our  Republican Congresspeople  have really let us down. They lie on healthcare and they lie on immigration control. We do not even have enough respect for our forefathers to expect current immigrants to follow the wisdom of their laws and to learn their teachings. We have turned our backs on our own civilization. All the while we welcome millions and millions from places that are unlivable. And yet when these migrants leave their homes they bring the same losing political attitudes with them to our country. The way we eventually stop from being overrun is to be overrun, becoming just like the terrible places they are leaving to the point that no one wants to come here anymore.

    • #12
  13. Freeven Member
    Freeven
    @Freeven

    Hank Rhody, Acting on Emotion: Well, you’ve got other options. E-verify. Better enforcement on visa overstays. Radar and helicopters and active border patrol units…

    None of which are mutually exclusive. We all know that, of course. It’s worth pointing out repeatedly, however, since often we (usually they) use language that suggests we can choose only one.

     

    • #13
  14. WI Con Member
    WI Con
    @WICon

    cdor (View Comment):

    I believe a wall is a real deterrent. It works, even if that means forcing people to smaller choke points that can be guarded by other means. It should be combined with stronger laws eliminating chain migration and birth rite citizenship. But the wall will work even without better laws. I am discouraged in that the wall may not get built. Remember the original cost was estimated at 25 Billion. Now the government is shut down over a mere 5 Billion down payment. Our Republican Congresspeople have really let us down. They lie on healthcare and they lie on immigration control. We do not even have enough respect for our forefathers to expect current immigrants to follow the wisdom of their laws and to learn their teachings. We have turned our backs on our own civilization. All the while we welcome millions and millions from places that are unlivable. And yet when these migrants leave their homes they bring the same losing political attitudes with them to our country. The way we eventually stop from being overrun is to be overrun, becoming just like the terrible places they are leaving to the point that no one wants to come here anymore.

    The ‘Wall’ vs. other methods is analogous to wounded vs. killed in battle. The former expend way more resources than the latter. Think of all the social service /law enforcement resources that go into processing, adjudicating, feeding/housing, subsidizing, educating, deporting an illegal vs preventing entry. 

    The wall makes economic sense and offers an excellent rate of return on investment. Of course, build by population centers and infiltration routes vs natural barriers. Of course couple with e-verify program and other interior enforcement measures. 

    Do those that don’t advocate the wall likewise advocate that we dismantle those portions currently in place? I mean it’s not effective right? 

    • #14
  15. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    WI Con (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):

    I believe a wall is a real deterrent. It works, even if that means forcing people to smaller choke points that can be guarded by other means. It should be combined with stronger laws eliminating chain migration and birth rite citizenship. But the wall will work even without better laws. I am discouraged in that the wall may not get built. Remember the original cost was estimated at 25 Billion. Now the government is shut down over a mere 5 Billion down payment. Our Republican Congresspeople have really let us down. They lie on healthcare and they lie on immigration control. We do not even have enough respect for our forefathers to expect current immigrants to follow the wisdom of their laws and to learn their teachings. We have turned our backs on our own civilization. All the while we welcome millions and millions from places that are unlivable. And yet when these migrants leave their homes they bring the same losing political attitudes with them to our country. The way we eventually stop from being overrun is to be overrun, becoming just like the terrible places they are leaving to the point that no one wants to come here anymore.

    The ‘Wall’ vs. other methods is analogous to wounded vs. killed in battle. The former expend way more resources than the latter. Think of all the social service /law enforcement resources that go into processing, adjudicating, feeding/housing, subsidizing, educating, deporting an illegal vs preventing entry.

    The wall makes economic sense and offers an excellent rate of return on investment. Of course, build by population centers and infiltration routes vs natural barriers. Of course couple with e-verify program and other interior enforcement measures.

    Do those that don’t advocate the wall likewise advocate that we dismantle those portions currently in place? I mean it’s not effective right?

    Yes, I know, I know. But it feels like we are screaming at the sky for rain to come. Critical institutions such as education, journalism, and culture are lost to people who advocate for measures that will eventually destroy our country, especially as the strongest force for good in this world. Once that happens–30 to 40 years tops–who does the world turn to for help?

    • #15
  16. Could Be Anyone Member
    Could Be Anyone
    @CouldBeAnyone

    Hank Rhody, Acting on Emotion: For ages we’ve had politicians who’ve superficially agreed with us, but can’t ever seem to get the job done

    This sentence is the heart of this argument. That constant disappointment in elected officials got us Trump, a trope by now in its usage. It’s wrong though. According to polling there is nearly a 20 point gap between those who support (40%) expanding the border wall and those who don’t (57%) and the number of those lenient to illegal immigrant children is far larger still. According to 2018 exit polling only 17% of those that voted were Republicans that put immigration as their most important issue.

    I don’t mention this to be caustic but to observe that this alleged base of voters is not a majority of all voters nor the GOP. Legislators don’t vote against the people they represent. Immigration is not a 70/30 issue and even when you get legislators who attempt to start legislation they get hammered as traitors by the fringe, as in the case of Rubio with the Gang of 8 bill that didn’t even get to the House.

    This is not even considering that Trump won with pluralities in most primaries and how lenient younger voters are on immigration compared to older generations, which are more 50/50. It’s only going to get worse.

    Just to give wider comparison, there are actual interest groups for most political divides in the USA. NRA for firearms or the Federalist Society for more conservative justices. Think the ACLU on certain civil liberties or Woman’s March for the left. What is their for immigration? I can’t think of any major private organization/movement for either side (I guess there was that Dreamers group) really. There was that activist group that got the caravan going but I can’t remember their name.

    Those organizations exist and have networks across the nation because their is actual widespread support for those causes and the people took some degree of action. That isn’t there for immigration. These essays bemoaning the terror of politicians not doing their will when they are disorganized small groups belie the fact of how republics/democracies work, where there is consensus.

    Don’t expect a wall if this is the best that can be marshaled to accomplish it, although in reality there already is substantial border defenses—not saying it couldn’t be improved further.

    • #16
  17. Hank Rhody, Acting on Emotion Contributor
    Hank Rhody, Acting on Emotion
    @HankRhody

    DonG (View Comment):
    A bigger economy where most Americans are poorer. What good is it to grow an economy where only a few benefit?

    I’m actually not convinced of that. People, decent people, have a way of making themselves valuable. Now, the current setup which by default assumes MS13 members aren’t animals tends to attract illegales who are net negatives, I’ll grant you that. But economies are complex, and I’m not convinced that shoving more people in the bottom doesn’t make everyone richer. I mean, the government policies which seem designed to keep poor people poor and indolent don’t help anything either.

    But all that is an aside. I’m not terribly interested in arguing whether open borders is a good idea or not in this post. I’m mostly interested in the political question and what that implies.

    • #17
  18. Hank Rhody, Acting on Emotion Contributor
    Hank Rhody, Acting on Emotion
    @HankRhody

    Spin (View Comment):
    And that is based on the simple fact that you ain’t sending all the ee-lee-gulls (that’s how my father in law always said it) back to Mexico. You just aren’t.

    Not convinced of that point either. As a matter of the cost and logistical difficulty of accomplishing it, I figure it’d be difficult, expensive, but possible. As a matter of political will, I’d say we aren’t there. Yet. Funny how the continual bait-and-switch builds that will.

    As to your larger point, like I said, I’m not terribly interested in picking on Marco Rubio.

    • #18
  19. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Could Be Anyone (View Comment):
    Those organizations exist and have networks across the nation because their is actual widespread support for those causes and the people took some degree of action. That isn’t there for immigration.

    This is a good place to look.

    If the Pew poll you linked to is accurate, the battle is lost. However, Pew still claims there are only about 10 million illegals in this country. I don’t even know how one can determine that number, but it is a number that has remained the same for years and years. It’s difficult for me to believe it has not gotten larger over the past decade.  One of Trump.s biggest issues was illegal immigration. He did not hide that fact, nor what he wanted to do about it…wall…and he won the Presidency. Republican politicians who wish to continue allowing people to come here and live here illegally are voting for their own demise. Those folks will not grow into Republicans.

    • #19
  20. Hank Rhody, Acting on Emotion Contributor
    Hank Rhody, Acting on Emotion
    @HankRhody

    Could Be Anyone (View Comment):
    This sentence is the heart of this argument. That constant disappointment in elected officials got us Trump, a trope by now in its usage. It’s wrong though. According to polling there is nearly a 20 point gap between those who support (40%) expanding the border wall and those who don’t (57%) and the number of those lenient to illegal immigrant children is far larger still. According to 2018 exit polling only 17% of those that voted were Republicans that put immigration as their most important issue.

    One, that sentence is literally true. See John ‘Build the dang fence’ McCain. It’s possible that immigration control isn’t nearly as popular a position as I think it is, but that hasn’t stopped the politicians from promising it.

    Two, if you’re going to say that the benefits of taking a hardline immigration position are smaller than I’ve stated then you’ve also got to acknowledge that the costs are also smaller. Not everyone who fits the label hispanic is also going to assume that open borders are just peachy. You’re weighing a fraction of republicans against a fraction of a fraction of the population. Doesn’t necessarily mean the calculation comes out any different.

    • #20
  21. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    “Lenient towards illegal immigrant children” means just that, not “indifferent or positive towards illegal immigration”. It’s reasonable and consistent to say, “the way some of these kids are treated is screwed up” while also saying “It’s disgraceful that any parent would drag a kid along because they’ve been told that’s how you get in”. 

    • #21
  22. Hank Rhody, Acting on Emotion Contributor
    Hank Rhody, Acting on Emotion
    @HankRhody

    Could Be Anyone (View Comment):
    Legislators don’t vote against the people they represent.

    You sir are quite a bit more optimistic than I am.

    • #22
  23. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Hank Rhody, Acting on Emotion (View Comment):

    Could Be Anyone (View Comment):
    Legislators don’t vote against the people they represent.

    You sir are quite a bit more optimistic than I am.

    You have to be quite clear on who they think they “represent.”

    • #23
  24. Could Be Anyone Member
    Could Be Anyone
    @CouldBeAnyone

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    “Lenient towards illegal immigrant children” means just that, not “indifferent or positive towards illegal immigration”. It’s reasonable and consistent to say, “the way some of these kids are treated is screwed up” while also saying “It’s disgraceful that any parent would drag a kid along because they’ve been told that’s how you get in”. 

    My overall point, if not made clear, is that polling shows a fairly large majority of Americans do not favor a strong stance, build the wall and make sure the illegals are deported, on illegal immigration. That is not a question of norms but of facts of public opinion and passing legislation.

    Hank’s essay attempts to elaborate on the agitation some feel in the GOP about the lack of response to illegal immigration. But a key assumption of that is that a majority of Americans are being dismissed by politicians on immigration and that was why Trump was elected. Trump was not elected because of immigration.

    • #24
  25. Could Be Anyone Member
    Could Be Anyone
    @CouldBeAnyone

    Hank Rhody, Acting on Emotion (View Comment):
    You sir are quite a bit more optimistic than I am.

    If the bill is gonna tick off some number north of 30% of the politcian’s constituents then you can count them out. That is just being realistic.

    • #25
  26. Could Be Anyone Member
    Could Be Anyone
    @CouldBeAnyone

    Hank Rhody, Acting on Emotion (View Comment):

    One, that sentence is literally true. See John ‘Build the dang fence’ McCain.

    Does one politician speak for all? I don’t think so. That was a bad ad but given how much flak McCain got for being a moderate he probably thought it was a way to secure a sector of the party that didn’t like him.

    It’s possible that immigration control isn’t nearly as popular a position as I think it is, but that hasn’t stopped the politicians from promising it.

    Well certain districts may have more people who support it than others, it is not some even distribution. But do you really think a majority of those Democrats have dreams of an open border with no security? That is disingenuous. Polling tends to show support for border agents and the like but when you try to frame building a wall as the only way to care about securing the border you at least come off as a presumptuous jerk.

    Two, if you’re going to say that the benefits of taking a hardline immigration position are smaller than I’ve stated then you’ve also got to acknowledge that the costs are also smaller.

    Depends on the district but overall in a majority of districts it is more costly than beneficial to be a border hawk because not only are Americans more lenient than stringent but they also rank several other issues as more important.

    Not everyone who fits the label hispanic is also going to assume that open borders are just peachy.

    I don’t think what I typed, implied or relied on that assumption.

    You’re weighing a fraction of republicans against a fraction of a fraction of the population. Doesn’t necessarily mean the calculation comes out any different.

    In republican/democratic politics the people who vote are the ones that matter, although to my knowledge both regular and exit polling have been consistent. Even if one was to be simplistic and assume that each registered R was for the wall and each registered D was against the wall that would still make those in favor of the wall a minority. Those who believe illegal immigration is a large issue in need of immediate resolution are a minority, and a small one at that going off all current data.

    • #26
  27. Could Be Anyone Member
    Could Be Anyone
    @CouldBeAnyone

    ccdor (View Comment):
    If the Pew poll you linked to is accurate, the battle is lost.

    With that attitude it is.

    However, Pew still claims there are only about 10 million illegals in this country. I don’t even know how one can determine that number, but it is a number that has remained the same for years and years.

    Pew’s data has not been static. Their estimations, using data from the US Census Bureau, showed a peak of 13 million around 2012 and then a decline to 10.7 million today. 

    It’s difficult for me to believe it has not gotten larger over the past decade.

    Immigrants, legal or not, do not always stay in the USA. Economic conditions have improved in Mexico and that might have drawn illegals out of the USA. Certain illegals may also have made attempts for legal status, don’t know if it’s possible but that strikes me as a possibility (although unfair).

    One of Trump’s biggest issues was illegal immigration. He did not hide that fact, nor what he wanted to do about it…wall…and he won the Presidency.

    Correlation is not causation. Barack Obama ran on a number of policies and defended them, does that mean that the American people were so engrossed in those policies and wanted them? Don’t think so.

    Given how divided the party was going into the convention, Trump’s consistent negative polling and the fact he only won by 78,000 votes in 3 states (with a smaller percentage of the total vote than Romney in 2012) I think it a gross overestimation that Trump won because of his stance on immigration. His name recognition and not being Clinton was far more influential. 

    There is no doubt a faction in the GOP that supported him fervently through it all but they did not decide it. Those moderates and suburbanites in those 3 states did.

    Republican politicians who wish to continue allowing people to come here and live here illegally are voting for their own demise. Those folks will not grow into Republicans.

    Do you know that they will become Democrats? Pew polling also shows that Hispanics as a group may not grow because they have a tendency to start identifying as whites (Caucasian) by around the 3rd generation. It is also bad faith to argue that because someone is not argaujng against something they street want it to happen. 

    Finally CIS is a K-Street think tank in DC. That is hardly some national movement with membership across the nation and wide appeal. Most Americans have never heard of CIS but most have heard of the NRA. It’s influence is even less than that of the much maligned main stream ivory tower think tanks in DC.

    • #27
  28. Bob W Member
    Bob W
    @WBob

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody, Acting on Emotion: And that’s also why the wall itself is important. Take any other measure; if one administration raises the funding for the Border Patrol the next one can lower it again. Helicopters and Radar and whatnot can be given and taken away. E-verify can be ignored. But a wall? It’s much harder to take a wall back. The politicians can lie all they want; if they had to spend some serious political capital to tear the wall down, brother, it ain’t gonna happen. Maybe they pull the guards off, maybe they offer amnesty. On the other hand, maybe we’ll get more politicians who realize that their voters don’t like being played for saps.

    Precisely on point. AND a physical obstacle system is a necessary, foundational, component of any defense. It is not sufficient, as it must have observation and effective fires (direct and indirect), but it is essential to shape movement in favor of defenders. In the border context, there must be effective 24/7 observation of the “wall” and there must be effective laws that repel illegal aliens at the border and expel them expeditiously if they leak through (lawfare counterpart to a military fires (artillery, guns, aviation) plan.

    Revoking other concessions to Trump would be easy, but you actually have to tear a wall down. That takes time, effort, and money. And it would be very visible. People would ask, “Why? We know it wasn’t a good idea, but it’s water over the dam. It’s there, why waste money tearing it down?” The Dems are afraid to have to answer that. The Dems are very close to achieving a permanent majority through immigration, and a real wall is a big setback. 

    • #28
  29. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Spin (View Comment):
    sending all the ee-lee-gulls (that’s how my father in law always said it)

    Was his pronunciation fawlty?

    • #29
  30. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Could Be Anyone, you get kudos for taking a position that, whether or not it’s popular in the outside world, is going to be unpopular on Ricochet. You are defending your corner and didn’t slink away, as many writers do. But I think you’re straw-manning it a little with–

    My overall point, if not made clear, is that polling shows a fairly large majority of Americans do not favor a strong stance, build the wall and make sure the illegals are deported, on illegal immigration. That is not a question of norms but of facts of public opinion and passing legislation.

    Sorry, you lost me at make sure the illegals are deported. I haven’t seen anyone here say that, Mickey Kaus doesn’t say that, Mark Kerkorian and other restrictionists don’t say that. It makes the restrictionist argument look bad, sure…but it isn’t remotely true. 

    • #30

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