President Trump wants to build a border barrier to keep people from entering the U.S. illegally, while Democrats are doing everything possible to reward people for doing just that. Free health care, free college tuition, work permits, protection from deportation in sanctuary cities; why wouldn’t people try to sneak across the border?
Though President Trump has offered up plenty of good arguments in favor of building a border barrier, he has ignored the most convincing one of all: countering the welcome mat rolled out by Democrats in California, New York and several other blue states. Just as President Obama’s 2012 announcement of the DACA program encouraged a surge of migrants heading towards the border, convinced that the U.S. was becoming more hospitable, so has the continued pandering to the undocumented population in some states sent exactly the wrong, inviting, signal.
No wonder Democrats won’t fund the wall. No wonder they refuse to even debate its merits.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer know that the facts support a limited border barrier of the type sought by President Trump. As important, they know there is no real reason to oppose spending $5.6 billion (0.1 percent of the federal budget) on an infrastructure project that many in their party have previously endorsed.
Pelosi and Schumer must fear that the more Americans learn about the proposed border fence, the more they might question Democrat resistance to the idea. That’s why the duo have gone to such lengths to warn that the president’s pitch for the wall is full of “misinformation, and even malice.” At the least, they worry, voters might start to ask, what’s the harm?
NPR recently reported that border patrol agents in the San Diego area, where fencing now exists, enthusiastically support the plan for an expanded barrier. One senior agent told NPR, “We could not make a measurable impact on the flow [of undocumented immigrants] across the border. It wasn't until we installed barriers along the border that gave us the upper hand that we started to get control.”
Trump has, on numerous occasions, defended his position, declaring (correctly) that our border is unprotected and that a barrier in some regions has proven effective in reducing the number of people coming across illegally. He has pointed to the injurious influx of illegal drugs, the penetration of vicious gangs like MS-13, as well as to the humanitarian crisis that results from tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors being used as bargaining chips by those who want to game the system. We have, as he said in his TV address, no place to put them. A serious barrier would act as a deterrent, which might slow the caravans and others who refuse to wait their turn.
Opponents of the wall argue that the influx of undocumented people into the country has declined over the past decade. That is true, but the DHS estimates that more than 200,000 people still entered the country illegally between so-called ports of entry last year and were not caught.
Also, Border Patrol has reported that the number of people attempting to enter the country illegally is on the rise. No wonder, with all the encouragements being offered by Democrat politicians courting Hispanic voters.
Americans are not stupid. Most want our borders secure and the longer this stand-off goes on, the more ridiculous Democrats look.
Instead of debating the virtues of a border barrier, Pelosi and Schumer have simply said no.
They and their colleagues don’t want to discourage illegal immigration; they know that most Hispanics will eventually become Democrat voters, no matter how they enter the country. It may take a while, but the path forward, via DACA, or amnesty programs, or birthright citizenship, is almost certain. Meanwhile, their position on the wall keeps Hispanic-American voters in their column.
To be sure, a border barrier is only part of the solution. There are other pieces of the puzzle, like making E-Verify mandatory. We also need to consider pushing back on the handouts being given to people who are in the country illegally. Most likely that will occur only when voters realize an increasing portion of their tax dollars are being spent on non-citizens, and demand change.
Meanwhile, the non-debate about the wall goes on.
Pelosi and Schumer have spent recent days professing their very, very great concern about federal employees impacted by the partial government shutdown. In fact, they are so extremely concerned about the welfare of those 800,000 Americans that they are doing…..exactly nothing to end the standoff.
Pelosi and Schumer are engaged in a political power play, knowing that Trump’s base wants and expects a wall to be built. They are not arguing policy, only politics. This is reprehensible, especially as those federal employees they profess concern about actually are suffering.
Americans are not stupid. Most want our borders secure and may come to realize that Trump’s barrier would help. The longer this stand-off goes on, the more ridiculous Democrats look.
Maybe that’s why Katie Hill, newly elected Democrat in a formerly GOP California district, has broken ranks and agreed to fund the wall. Or maybe, it’s because she’s from California, and she knows that walls work. “For many of us there’s not really doubt that some kind of physical barrier is necessary,” Hill explained. She needs to tell that to Schumer and Pelosi.