Donald Trump’s plan to stop illegal immigration from Mexico by building a wall makes for good copy and riles up crowds, but constructing a fence across 1,989 miles is a road to nowhere. Oh, and so is his promise to make Mexico pay for it.
After the Republican presidential candidate used jaw-dropping jingoism by calling undocumented Mexican immigrants “criminals” and “rapists,” he doubled down on that xenophobia by vowing to build a barrier along our country’s Southern border. According to Trump, it wouldn’t even be hard and not very costly.
Someone might want to tell the billionaire blowhard that he’s wrong on both. But why derail a freedom freight train, an administration that will surely become legendary for “Making America Great Again,” as his campaign slogan promises?
Really smart people who actually studied this stuff — instead of relying on verbal diarrhea to convince Americans it’s even feasible, let alone a good idea — think it doesn’t make dollars or sense. The billionaire baby may not like that, but why let a little thing like tens of billions of dollars get in the way of what he wants?
In a 2008 report by U.S. Army Maj. John Sherwood, which was reviewed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), building such a wall along the border was determined to be unfeasible and impractical due to costs of construction, maintenance and surveillance.
“It is estimated that the construction and maintenance of the fence for a 25 year lifespan will cost $49 billion,” Sherwood said.
The report was enjoined by concerns over terrorists using the Southern border to enter the country and cause destruction. It considered the possibility of building walls between the U.S. and Mexico and at the Northern border with Canada as well.
Aside from a wall between Mexico being unfeasible on cost, other problems with construction would include only about 21,000 border protection agents stretched across its margins. That number was called “nowhere near sufficient” to patrol a such a massive amount of land by Wayne Cornelius, director of the University of California at San Diego Mexican migration field research program.
And Trump isn’t the only Republican presidential candidate talking a good fence game. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker also chimed in, but this time it was about those seedy Canadian neighbors who love hockey and wear Mountie hats.
On Sunday, as a guest on NBC’s “Meet The Press” Walker said that constructing a wall along the country’s Northern border with Canada is a “legitimate issue for us to look at.” This insanely ludicrous comment followed from host Chuck Todd asking Walker why we are always talking solely about the Southern border. Walker believes it’s a real possibility and therefore needs to be examined further. He justified his stultifyingly stupid comments by adding that the border to hockey-land had been discussed by law enforcement in New Hampshire.
The U.S. border with Canada stretches an astounding 5,525 miles across the Great Lakes, rugged mountains, deep woods and plains.
“The construction of a border fence between the U.S. and Canada has also been proposed, but to date, no congressional legislation has been drafted,” Sherwood said. “The massive costs associated with the land length of 3,145 miles, coupled with the perceived lower immigration impact on this Northern border, may be the underlying reason for congressional inaction.”
Noah Zuss is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine.