The silliest wall of all

Headline 1989: The German Border Wall Comes Down. Headline 2017?: The U. S. Border Wall Goes Up.

Trump has said his wall could cost up to $12 billion. It will be made of precast concrete and reach up to 50 feet. He has said he will force Mexico to pay for the wall by blocking Mexicans who want to send money from the United States back home to Mexico (remittances) from doing so if they don’t show documentation proving their legal status.

Items: a. The remittances are not going to Mexico’s treasury, they are going to Mexican families; b. Unless remittances to all countries are banned, the money will find its way to Mexican families; c. Even at the low-end cost of $12 billion and if the wall stopped 50,000 border crossers, the cost per undocumented migrant would be $240,000 each; d. The wall would not affect nearly half of all the unauthorized migrants committing the misdemeanor of now living in the United States, entered the country legally through a port of entry such as an airport or a border crossing point where they were subject to inspection by immigration officials, according to new estimates from the Pew Hispanic Center. As much as 45 percent of the total unauthorized migrant population entered the country with visas that allowed them to visit or reside in the U.S. for a limited amount of time. Known as “overstayers,” these migrants became part of the unauthorized population when they remained in the country after their visas had expired; e. Also from Pew center: More Mexicans are leaving than coming to the U.S. — net loss of 140,000 from 2009 to 2014; f. Wall off the 95,000 miles of coastlines? NBC news: While only a small fraction of border arrests are at sea, authorities say heightened enforcement on land, and a bigger fence, is making the offshore route more attractive.

Paul Hunter