The gaping hole in Trump’s border wall

How much of your money does Donald Trump want to pour into his xenophobic fantasy of erecting an impenetrable wall on our Mexican border?

The big-businessman-turned-president insists he doesn’t care about costs, just build it! That seems to be a very un-businesslike approach – but, then, it’s not his money, is it? For those of you who do care, one measure of what the total tab might be is that he’s now demanding $1.6 billion from Congress to start construction. How much wall will that buy? Seventy-four miles. Now, how long is that US-Mexican border he wants to seal off? One thousand, nine-hundred miles long. So, $1.6 billion down – and only 1,826 miles to go!

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And let’s not even get into the cost overruns, fraudulent billings, shoddy materials, and other scams that the army of corporate contractors will add to the sticker price of Donald’s boondoggle on the border.

All of this for a 1,900-mile divider of both physical and symbolic ugliness that only an extremist minority of Americans support. Besides being wildly expensive, this Trumpian folly is not needed, won’t work, stifles the border economy, tramples on property rights, destroys sensitive environments, autocratically separates millions of families and communities – and is an insult not only to the people of Mexico, but also to our own people’s democratic values.

As for the assertion by die-hard Trumpateers that a massive, 30-foot high, six-foot deep, steel-and-concrete barricade will stop illegal immigration from Mexico, here is a fact Congress should ponder before taxing us with this harebrained structure: Two-thirds of undocumented migrants in our country entered with legal, temporary visas, then just stayed here after their visas expired. How does Trump’s gold-plated wall stop people who’ll simply walk through or fly over it?

Storm Shifts Political Winds In Capitol,” The New York Times, September 1, 2017.

A border wall by any means remains Trump’s obsession,” Austin American Statesman.

Visa Overstays Outnumber Illegal Border Crossings, Trend Expected to Continue,” NBC News, March 7, 2017.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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