So in this longest of U.S. government shutdowns, one thing that is missing from the debate are an articulation of the facts.
All I hear day-in and -out is that President Trump wants to build a wall or barrier on the Southern border because there is a crisis. And the Democrats in turn say it’s not necessary, it’s a waste of money, and even that it’s immoral, and that they will resist Trump!
But this is not a reasoned debate!
Who cares who wants what and who hates who in politics.
We need to be presented with a solid communication of facts, figures, and why should we support a position or not.
Yes, an endorsement by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is helpful, but the opposition can just claim partisan politics.
So here are some simple facts to inform the discussion:
- Over 253,000 guns annually cross the border from the U.S. to Mexico.
- Cartels send $64,000,000,000 of drugs annually from Mexico to U.S.
- Between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked annually into the U.S.
- The U.S. and Customer and Border Protection apprehended more than 500,000 illegals trying to enter in 2008, and there are between 12 to 22 million illegals in the U.S, today.
Looking at these numbers, I am not sure how anyone can say that the current border situation is secure — it isn’t.
So whatever we are doing with agents, sensors, surveillance, intelligence, inspection, and interdiction — no matter how good it is — it is not enough.
Certainly a request for Border Wall funding for $5 billion out of a $4.4 trillion dollar budget and placing barriers on hundreds of miles out of a 2,000 mile border, does not seem at all extreme!
While I do not like to be on a government shutdown, I certainly don’t see why this can’t be resolved with some reasoned border security funding that includes among the other security measures, a wall/barrier.
A strategically-placed border barrier only stands to reason in a layered defense/system of systems approach to security.
For some of those that don’t want the wall, and only want votes from a broken immigration system, this is a fight for power, rather than a genuine argument on how to help secure the country.
(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)