The 45th President Donald Trump has brightened his Oval Office with new gold curtains and he is working hard pushing paper behind the Resolute Desk. President Trump said “a nation without borders is not a nation. Beginning today America gets it borders back.” The President’s first 100 days will have a honeymoon period where he will be allowed to accomplish almost anything he wants…President Trump wants a wall, “a wonderful wall” on which he can place his name. Trump believes he can crush “the crisis on America’s Southern Border”, for just $9 million a mile.
While public polling showed that 47 percent of Arizona residents think the wall proposal is a “waste of money,” Trump is pressing ahead on building a “great wall” the discussion has grown and lots of folks have weighed in with their point of views. A couple of high-ranking Border Patrol supervisors have said independently, that they need to see what is coming and another said they need two walls so they can defend the second wall, patrolling between them. Others will say, it is a great idea if you want to sell 19’ ladders!
New Border Fence in Nogales, Arizona-Sonora, is buried deep.
Many interesting ideas, some find the 14 century solution unimaginative, why spend billions just to keep folks out when we could change life as we know it along the US-Mexico Border. For others, the word “wall”, means drones and fences. Either way, it won’t be a “great” wall, even if it covered the entire American land mass, it would only span 2,000 miles, the Great Wall of China covers 5,501 miles by one count and 13,171 if you include trenches, hills, other natural barriers. Either way the efforts of the Ming Dynasty dwarfs the Big Guys plan for the U.S.-Mexico and some critics say this is a “14th Century solution” when a 22nd Century answer is needed, we need today’s technology to make a really “great” wall!
Keeping an Eye on Mexico, was once the job of the National Guard, will that begin again?
The promised great Wall of the 2016 Election was designed to keep out the criminals, drug dealers and rapists and will fast become a gauge of President’s Trump’s veracity. Some cement salesmen have contacted the “DON” and told him, they are able and ready to go go go ! Their version of the Great Wall of Trump, will cost you and me between $15-25, other say $40 Billion, and will require just 250,000 truckloads of cement.
President Trump has insisted his “great, great wall” will be paid for by Mexico. But when Trump met Enrique Peña Nieto, parachuting into Mexic0 City during the election, the Mexican President emphasized his country would not pay for the 1000 mile long, forty foot high abomination and El Jefe’ took to Twitter to make sure everyone knew it and continues to say Mexico will never pay for such an insult to their country.
General John Kelly (left) Trump’s new Secretary of Homeland Security views new Border Wall model…
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds a sign supporting his plan to build a wall between the United States and Mexico that he borrowed from a member of the audience at his campaign rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina March 9, 2016. Trump was interrupted repeatedly by demonstrators during his rally. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
For year, residents along the southern border have lived with 650 miles of 18 foot metal fences supplemented with traffic barriers that stretched out from Texas, across New Mexico, into Arizona and ending on the California coast.
Brownsville resident Bonnie Elbert, told Rick Jervis of USA TODAY, “The one (fence) we have doesn’t really work. “What makes them think a new one will?”
During the election Trump received a big endorsement from the Border Patrol union because of his ideas on immigration and homeland security. Chris Cabrera, a border patrol agent and vice president of the local National Border Patrol Council. says the idea of building a bigger wall without increased manpower and technology, is ill-informed, he said.
“If you’re in the business of selling ladders, it’s a good idea,” Cabrera said. “If you build a bigger wall, they’re going to come with bigger ladders.” He added: “If they’re thinking of putting up a wall as a be-all, end-all … they’re looking in the wrong place.”
A fence may seem less grandiose than a wall, but it’s more practical. If the wall is opaque, agents can’t see who’s trying to cross. More importantly, they can’t identify potential threats.
Arizona Border Patrol Agents have cage bars on windows to protect agents from rocks.
In the days before the 2016 election, The Huffington Post took a tour of the border around Nogales, Arizona, with John Lawson, a veteran Border Patrol agent. Lawson said when he started out, the primitive fence was opaque. That was a liability for agents, and sometimes a hazard. In some instances, he said, attackers would scale the wall and try to drop cinder blocks on the agents’ vehicles as they passed below. “You need to make a fence you can see through,” Lawson said.
While construction was underway Mexico had police at the fence for security.
Ranking Border Patrol Agents have said a wall will not work, because you can only protect one side of it. They say you need two walls, one to protect the other, so I can see the fencing continuing to protect the “Great Wall”, conceding more of the U.S. to battle the hordes from the South. When the Berlin Wall was torn down 25 years ago, says Elisabeth Vallet, of Quebec University, there were 16 border fences around the world. The United Kingdom’s Daily Mail has pointed out Globalization is supposed to tear down barriers, but security fears and the refusal to help migrants and refugees have built 65 walls today, which are either completed or under construction.
NOGALES, ARIZONA (left) NOGALES, SONORA (right)
‘The one thing all these walls have in common is that their main function is theatre,’ said Marcello Di Cintio, author of ‘Walls: Travels Along the Barricades’.
‘You can’t dismiss that illusion, it’s important to people, but they provide the sense of security, not real security.’ Even the fearsome Berlin Wall with its trigger-happy sentries still leaked thousands of refugees even in its most forbidding years. Supporters of walls say a few leaks are better than a flood. But, author Di Cintio says consider the psychological price.
He points out Southern Arizona’s Tohono O’odham tribe, whose elders started to die off in apparent grief when the Mexican border fence cut them off from their ceremonial sites. The Tohono story suggests ‘wall disease’ diagnosed by Berlin psychologist Dietfried Muller-Hegemann in the 1970s after he found heightened levels of depression, alcoholism and domestic abuse among those living in the shadow of the barricade. Di Cintio also talked to Bangladeshi farmers suddenly cut off from their neighbors when India erected a simple barbed-wire fence between them. Within a few months, he said, they had started expressing distrust and dislike for ‘those people’ on the other side.
This March 29th, 2010 memorial service for long-time Douglas, Arizona area rancher Robert Krentz who was found about 1,000 feet from where the shooting occurred, dead in his ATV. The ATV still had its lights on and the engine running. There were spin out marks in the dirt, leading investigators to believe that he was trying to get away from the shooter. Investigators believe the shooter was headed south toward the border after the encounter. Law enforcement tracked a single set of footprints — believed to be the shooter’s — for 20 miles to the U.S.-Mexico border.
One great idea suggested networking solar cells on the wall to the power grid and producing enough electric power to fuel all the Border Cities from Tucson, Phoenix, to Mexicali and to run desalination plants in San Diego. Another suggests building a border interstate, exit North to the U.S or exit South to Mexico, solar cells would fuel solar chargers, solar light rail it would be a U.S-Mexico “Panama Canal”, moving people and trade across the entire continent
Technological advances such as ground radar to detect movement, hundreds of high-tech cameras with night-vision lenses and drones flying overhead have drastically transformed border security and now a Bristol County sheriff in New England wants to send a 10 man chain gang to help build the Wall. The sheriff says other county mounties want to throw in with him and get the job done. I would be afraid the chain-gang might disappear one day through a hole in the fence, leaving their guard, tied up with the TV control back at the motel.
Sheriff Thomas Hodgson said however he could “think of no other project that would have such a positive impact on our inmates and our country than building this wall. “Aside from learning and perfecting construction skills, the symbolism of these inmates building a wall to prevent crime in communities around the country, and to preserve jobs and work opportunities for them and other Americans upon release can be very powerful,” he said.
Instead of finding new reasons to hate our neighbors, I suggest $40 Billion allows us to build anything under the sun and we should find new reasons for working with Mexico to build a better world for citizens of both countries. My dream is one day, the bulldozing of critical animal habitat along the U.S.-MEXICO Border might be used as the first step in building a Bi-National BorderLand Highway with 10-12 lanes patrolled by Mexican Police to the south and by the U.S. to the north. Using the $40 plus billion Homeland Security budget would build a solar powered light rail system, perhaps a subway train built beneath of the roadway, wi-fi, driverless-car lanes, solar-powered electric car recharging systems, propane and gasoline and diesel in island stations featuring restaurants, motels and the Mexican rescue teams the Green Angels would be everywhere they are needed. It would move thousands of people, families, buses and trucks and it would be built by companies and workers from both countries and it would represent the best that Mexico and the U.S. have to offer. It could change the equation for both Worlds, empowering both countries to greatness working together to make a better world.
Yes, that would be very expensive. But it is something Mexico might actually support and offer to partner with the U.S.. There would be places the highway would plot out on the landscape better than actually along the U.S.-Mexico Border, so some flexibility may be required. We might have to give Mexico some of our land in exchange for some of Mexico. I was thinking it could be helpful to both nations, it would be a huge windfall for Arizona, if the U.S. partnered with Mexico, at Puerto Penasco, making it an international port with U.S. Customs and a straight route from seaports on the Gulf of California to the American Heartland. Perhaps Arizona’s Altar Valley, which today is the one main entrance into the U.S., for Mexican and South American illegal crossers, would fall into U.S. hands. Who would be better suited to clean up that nest of vipers. Drug cartels own and operate those small communities butting up against the U.S., without Mexico’s corruption to shore them up. The Border rip-off gangs, smugglers and crossers would have no base of operations. That land is also part of the American Indian Nation of the Tohono O’odham people whose territorial lands were split in two by the border, this would make them whole again.
Yes, I can see the argument that this is madness. But then I read Poet, novelist and environmentalist Homero Aridjis idea of “building solar plants along vast stretches of the almost 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border on the Mexican side, a new high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) grid could be set up to transmit energy efficiently from that long, snaking array to population centers along the border. Cities that could immediately benefit include San Diego, Tijuana, Mexicali, Tucson, Phoenix, El Paso, Ciudad Juarez, San Antonio and Monterrey, Aridjis writes suggesting “a Border of Solar Panels.” If one were to construct the equivalent of a strip of arrays south of the U.S.-Mexico border, wider in some areas and narrower in others, with a wide berth allowed for populated areas and stretches of rugged terrain, sufficient energy might be produced to also supply Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Dallas and Houston. For the U.S. cities, it would be a way to obtain cheaper and cleaner energy. In Mexico, the solar border would create a New Deal-like source of high-tech construction and technology jobs all along the border, which could absorb a significant number of would-be migrant workers on their way to cross illegally into the U.S..
What would we give to Mexico? Why not parts of Texas, south of the Alamo, of course, but enough to insure everyone gets a fair shake. Advertising for tourism to visit Texas, say “it’s like a whole other country.” Texas has been saying for years they would not mind seceding from the U.S. and this would give everyone a shot at a better way of life.
New York Rep. Chris Collins said that American taxpayers will front the cost for the wall but that he was confident Trump could negotiate getting the money back from Mexico.
“When you understand that Mexico’s economy is dependent upon US consumers, Donald Trump has all the cards he needs to play,” Collins, congressional liaison for the Trump transition team, told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day.” “On the trade negotiation side, I don’t think it’s that difficult for Donald Trump to convince Mexico that it’s in their best interest to reimburse us for building the wall.” “There’s no way that could happen,” Mexican Finance Minister Videgaray said on Mexican television . “There are no circumstances…not even the best possible trade deal would justify “violating the dignity of Mexicans citizens”.
Of the 1.1 million farm workers in the U.S., 71 percent are foreign-born, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Nearly half are illegal. Roughly 325,000 workers in California do the back breaking jobs that farmers say nobody else will do, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Manuel Cunha Jr., president of the Nisei Farmers League farming association, estimates 85 percent of California farm workers live in the United States illegally.
Farmers for years have scrambled under a shrinking labor pool. Mexico’s improving economy has slowed the flow of migrant workers. The dangerous border, controlled by drug cartels and human traffickers, keeps away others. The Department of Homeland Security’s says the total undocumented population peaked at 12 million in 2008, and has fallen since then. The number of apprehensions at the border is at its lowest since 1973, according to the Pew Research Center, the overall flow of Mexican immigrants is the smallest since the 1990s.
A review by The New York Times of thousands of court records and internal agency documents showed that over the last 10 years, 200 employees and contract workers of the Department of Homeland Security have taken nearly $15 million in bribes while being paid to protect the nation’s borders and enforce immigration laws. These employees have looked the other way as tons of drugs and thousands of undocumented immigrants were smuggled into the United States, the records show. They have illegally sold green cards and other immigration documents, have entered law enforcement databases and given sensitive information to drug cartels. Records show that the bribing of Homeland Security employees persists. In 2016, 15 were arrested, convicted of or sentenced on charges of bribery.