It is truly ironic that 27 years after the U.S. pushed for and accelerated the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, they’re home to daily talk about and support for Donald Trump’s idea to seal the border with Mexico by building a similar, or perhaps even worse, wall.
This charlatan and kook of a businessman, who is enamored with the idea of reaching the White House, does not realize that an impenetrable border or wall has never existed. Not one has been completely impregnable: not the 8,640 kilometer long Great Wall of China nor the aforementioned wall that divided Germany; not even the entire Iron Curtain, which separated Europe with land mines, spiked walls, surveillance towers and guards ready to shoot to kill.
Trump’s dream of a 3200 kilometer wall separating the United States and Mexico will definitely not be either. This Republican, who dreams of being president, admits his limited ability to resolve issues through negotiation and diplomacy. At the same time, it is an absurd and useless endeavor; physical barriers exist in areas as diverse as India, Gaza, Morocco, Thailand, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, yet none of these places have successfully detained immigrants or terrorists. Additionally, there are airports, coasts and other ways to cross the border.
His idea that Mexico pay for the wall is ridiculous. How would he force us to pay? He has mentioned the possibility of confiscating remittance, which would be illegal. In the United States, no matter how rich the country may be, there is still a question of where the money will come from. The wall would cost $25 billion, or, in other words, a fourth of the U.S. federal government’s annual infrastructure budget, infrastructure that includes roads, bridges and massive transportation systems, each requiring repairs, maintenance and modernization.
The wall, just like the threat of massive deportations, is a definite sign that Mr. Trump is delirious, as is his ultraconservative opponent, Ted Cruz. No one doubts that a presidential victory by either of these two candidates would make immigrants’ lives hell. However, there is a great difference between that and the ability to deport 11 million people without documents, which both promise to do. The promise has served only to raise spirits and the political atmosphere at this time. The only difference between the two is that Trump says that he will allow “good” immigrants to return, while Cruz wants all of them gone forever.
As an additional gift, they both want to prohibit all Muslims from entering the country. That said, their demagogy and racism have primarily been focused on Mexicans, who, as we all know, Trump has called rapists and criminals. He has successfully used this idea to attract the support of resentful middle and lower class white voters. However, he has never provided details for how he plans to send back the nearly 12 million human beings who bother him so much. Nor do we know how he plans to find them. Does he plan to go house by house? It is impossible to know someone’s immigration status by just looking at them. Only border control is authorized to decide who “looks Mexican” enough to be interrogated, but agents only work across a maximum of a 160 kilometer strip of the border. U.S. law dictates that police across the rest of the nation can only find out if someone has a visa or not after that person has committed a misdemeanor.
Assuming he’s able to find all of them, which is very unlikely, fulfilling his promise in two four-year presidential terms would require Trump to deport 1.375 million people annually, which would be difficult. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement barely has 5000 officers. Trump promises his election would bring 15,000 more officers, but even that amount would not be enough.
His delirium has another obstacle: How will he send these people back? Calculations predict that around 200,000 buses would be needed. Placed one behind the other, the buses would form a line almost three kilometers long. Where would they park? Trump should know that in the last decade, more Mexicans have left the United States of their own accord than have tried to enter the country. So, why get upset?
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