The Wall Controversy

by Rocco J. Piserchia

January 11, 2019

Government often proposes solutions to very real problems created by government. Such is the case with President Trump’s plan to build a wall on the border between Mexico and the USA. The federal government has refused to enforce existing immigration laws for decades which has resulted in massive illegal immigration with terrible consequences. Is a wall along the entire US Mexican border the solution?

The Catastrophic Problem of Illegal Immigration

For at least the last 14 years the public has been told that there are 11 to 12.5 million illegal aliens in the USA. MIT published a study in 2018 that estimated a more realistic number of illegal aliens would be 22 million. One researcher in 2007 named James H. Walsh estimated there were 40 million illegal aliens residing in the US. The actual number of illegal aliens is difficult to precisely define due to different research criteria coupled with the political motivation to minimize the problem.

The economic cost of widespread immigration, including illegal immigration, is largely ignored by the MSM (main stream media). One study by the Heritage Foundation determined the average annual cost to each taxpayer is $19,588. Consider the increased costs of government education and other government funded services absorbed by illegal aliens. Furthermore the labor market like any other market is subject to to supply and demand. When a nation is flooded with illegal alien workers, legal workers are displaced. This also drives down wages as more workers are available to fill jobs.

The problem of crime caused by illegal aliens is widespread. Once again the MSM ignores or underplays the pervasive problem of illegal alien crime. MSM reporters refuse to even use the phrase “illegal alien” and prefer undocumented worker. Of course the act of illegally entering the USA is a misdemeanor in and of itself. Illegal aliens then commit a felony when they use bogus social security numbers and falsify other documents in order to work. Crimes committed by illegal aliens are a serious and systemic problem.

“…The first report found that criminal aliens, both legal and illegal, make up 27 percent of all federal prisoners. Yet non-citizens are only about nine percent of the nation’s adult population. Thus, judging by the numbers in federal prisons alone, non-citizens commit federal crimes at three times the rate of citizens… The 2011 GAO report is more of the same. The criminal histories of 251,000 criminal aliens showed that they had committed close to three million criminal offenses. Sixty-eight percent of those in federal prison and 66 percent of those in state prisons were from Mexico. Their offenses ranged from homicide and kidnapping to drugs, rape, burglary, and larceny. Once again, these statistics are not fully representative of crimes committed by illegal aliens — this report only reflects the criminal histories of aliens who were in prison. If there were a way to include all crimes committed by criminal aliens, the numbers would likely be higher since prosecutors often drop criminal charges against an illegal alien if immigration authorities will deport the alien. The GAO reports also highlight another flaw in using survey data from a national sample. A key factor highlighted in the GAO reports is that criminal aliens from Mexico disproportionately make up incarcerations and that most arrests are made in the three border states of California, Texas, and Arizona….” [Source]

Candidate Trump on the Wall

Then candidate Donald J. Trump vociferously and repeatedly promoted building a wall along the entire southern border to help solve the problem of illegal immigration. Trump then and now has not discussed why existing immigration laws are not enforced. The impression is made that enforcing immigration laws can’t be done apart from construction of the wall. Such an assertion is false as the Eisenhower administration deported 1.3 million illegal aliens via Operation Wetback.

Trump was also insistent that Mexico would pay for the wall that would be built.

Candidate Trump asserted that Mexico would pay for 100% of the cost of the wall and construction would begin immediately after he took office.

During a GOP presidential primary debate Trump was asked how Mexico would pay for the wall. Trump did not answer the question then and still has yet to explain how Mexico would pay for the wall.

To date: Mexico has paid nothing for the wall, the US Congress has allocated no funds to build the wall and no construction has commenced for it. Candidate Trump also promised there would be no amnesty, i.e., no illegal aliens would be granted citizenship.

After he was elected Trump then proposed amnesty for nearly 800,000 DACA illegal aliens in exchange for border security which would have included $25 billion for the wall. Trump then increased his amnesty proposal to include 1.8 million illegal aliens under the guise of DACA. That deal never transpired and the wall was not funded.

The Cost of the Wall

The entire border between Mexico and the USA is about 1950 miles. Approximately 650 miles along the border now has fencing 18 feet high. Candidate Trump said the wall could be built across the entire border for $10 billion. The firm of Bernstein Research estimated the espenditure would be between $15 and $25 billion not including the cost to acquire the private land on the US side of the border via eminent domain. DHS estimated $21.6 billion in February of 2017. Democratic Senate staffers released an estimate of up to $70 billion. In a deal that never transpired, President Trump requested $25 billion for the wall in exchange for granting amnesty to a minimum of 1.8 million illegal aliens.

The current partial federal government shut down was precipitated by the President’s demand that Congress allocate $5 billion for the wall. However even if Trump no longer desires to build a wall across the entire 1950 mile border, $5 billion would only cover 215 miles. Furthermore Congress authorized $4.8 billion in aid for Mexico and $5.8 billion to central American countries [source].

Misguided activists in support of the wall have contributed over $20 million as part of a goal to raise $1 billion. Even if $1 billion was raised this would only cover approximately 43 miles based on the previously cited figure that $5 billion would only build 215 miles of the wall. Such activists are misguided not merely due to the actual cost of constructing the wall but also due to the nature of government. When politicians fail to keep their campaign promises citizens should not encourage their lack of integrity by donating to the state. Donating to the government would be immoral even if the public was not already burdened by oppressive taxation. “In 2018, Americans will pay $3.4 trillion in federal taxes and $1.8 trillion in state and local taxes, for a total bill of $5.2 trillion, or 30 percent of the nation’s income. Americans will collectively spend more on taxes in 2018 than they will on food, clothing, and housing combined” [source]

Effective No Cost Solutions to Permanently Stop Illegal Immigration

Real solutions to permanently end the vast majority of illegal immigration would cost US taxpayers nothing to implement. The US federal government lets Mexico operate at least 45 consulates in the USA. These US based Mexican consulates primarily exist to foster illegal immigration by issuing Matricula Consular cards to illegal aliens. Some critics of the Matricula Consular card object to this form of identification because it may be easily forged in the US. However the primary objection to the Matricula Consular card is that it does not prove that the card holder is in the USA legally. One of three documents are required for non US citizens to legally work in the USA: A Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card), an employment Authorization Document (work permit), or an employment-related visa which allows you to work for a particular employer.

If the Republicans in Congress as well as President Trump seriously wanted to end illegal immigration it could be done very quickly. The following measures would terminate the vast majority of illegal immigration without incurring any cost to the US. 1.) Close most or all Mexican consulates. 2.) Enact a law that makes the Matricula Consular card the equivalent of what it is in Mexico, namely it could not be used as a legal form of identification. In particular a federal law could be passed that would prohibit all banks and financial institutions from accepting the Matricula Consular card as a valid form of identification. 3.) Mandate that any non US citizen who desires to open a bank account would have to present a valid foreign passport and a green card, work permit or employment related visa. 4.) Impose a mandatory tax or surcharge of 90% on all wire transfers out of the USA from non citizens unless the sender has a valid foreign passport and a green card, work permit or employment related visa. “Migrants” from Latin America and the Caribbean wire transferred over $69 billion in 2016. In 2012 all migrants in the USA, not just from Latin America, wire transferred over $120 billion. It’s also important that none of these proposals would involve expanding the police state. If these recommendations were adopted illegal aliens would peacefully self deport.

University of CA, Davis Professor – Cloward And Pivon Strategy Alive And Well In Border Crisis

 

Political science, comparative culture, and mass media professor Dr. Darrell Y. Hamamoto, discusses the current border collapse, the agenda of La Raza and the destruction of America’s national sovereignty.

Rand Paul continues to mislead on immigration

24ahead.com

6/12/14

Yesterday Sen. Rand Paul spoke on a conference call organized by Michael Bloomberg‘s Partnership for a New American Economy and – together with Grover Norquist – promoted comprehensive immigration reform (what most call “amnesty”).

Now, either because he got pushback or to take the sales job to his Tea Parties base, Paul offers a guest editorial at Breitbart News ( peekURL.com/z96LtY3 ). I’ll briefly describe how it’s wrong and how he’s attempting to deceive you. If you’re a Rand Paul supporter, I hope to change your mind.

Paul begins:

I am for immigration reform because I am against allowing 12 million more illegal immigrants into our country. If we do nothing, 12 million more illegal immigrants will come. We must be in favor of reform—smart reform that starts with border security.

Characterizing that position as “amnesty” is simply untrue.

What we have now is a lawless border. Current policy is a beacon for more illegal immigrants. The Obama administration’s lawless executive orders legalizing people who came here illegally will only encourage more illegal immigration – unless we act now with real, strong, verifiable border security.

I am for immigration reform because what we have now is untenable. I voted against the Gang of Eight’s comprehensive immigration reform bill because it did not secure the border first. I will only support reform that has border security first as verifiable and ascertained by Congress, not the president.

My plan will not give the president the authority to simply declare that the border is secure. It will require yearly votes of Congress to ensure the president doesn’t get around the law.

My “Trust but Verify” plan will ensure that our border is secure. Under my plan, national security and border security will move as the first element of any reform and would require annual votes of Congress to establish that the border is truly secure. No other reform could go forward until this happened.

1. The first paragraph is the “we already have defacto amnesty” line popularized by Marco Rubio. Paul’s talking point is deceptive because it assumes we must choose between the current situation and some form of mass legalization. There are other options that Paul is ignoring, such as attrition. If Paul and his colleagues really wanted Obama to enforce immigration laws, they could make it happen. To some extent, Paul’s first paragraph is an extortionist’s threat: give me what I want or things will get worse.

2. For various reasons, the mass legalization Rand Paul wants would encourage more illegal immigration. It would give more power to far-left groups that currently support illegal immigration, such as the American Civil Liberties Union. Paul’s plan wouldn’t punish employers that knowingly hired illegal aliens in the past, it would let them off the hook and encourage them to keep hiring illegal aliens if they can. And, as can be seen currently, weakness on immigration – such as talk of mass legalization – can lead to a mad rush for the borders. Rand Paul’s plan would also reward political corruption, such as those politicians who’ve looked the other way on illegal immigration because of large donations from business groups. Rand Paul’s plan would reward such behavior and encourage more of it.

3. In the second paragraph, Rand Paul plays word games. His plan is what most people would refer to as “amnesty”. But, to avoid confusion, let’s play his game. Let’s not use the shorter “amnesty” but the longer “mass legalization”. Instead of arguing with Rand Paul whether his plan is amnesty or not, let’s just show how his plan will harm the U.S. See reform not amnesty for more on that aspect.

4. There is one group for whom Rand Paul’s plan – and all other immigration “reform” plans so far proposed – are definitively amnesty. As alluded to above, all those businesses that knowingly or not hired illegal aliens will get off the hook. Illegal aliens will be forced to pay some kind of fines (unless those are waived) and will face other “tough” punishment. But, their employers will get a full and complete amnesty for their past hiring of those illegal aliens. In some or many cases those employers knew what was going on but looked the other way, or knowingly accepted fake documents. They won’t face any sort of punishment for that.

5. Rand Paul is in the “secure the border first” crowd: as discussed at the link you have to ask what comes second. In Rand Paul’s case we know: mass legalization of millions of illegal aliens.

6. Whether putting Obama or Congress in charge of declaring the border secure, that’s letting the fox guard the henhouse. Obama, George W Bush, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan and previous Congresses brought us to the current situation. Rand Paul certainly isn’t doing all he could to secure the border right now, nor are most other leading politicians. Some of those politicians might be marginally better than Obama on immigration, but generally speaking trusting leading politicians – Democrats or Republicans – on immigration isn’t a wise idea because they’ve shown themselves to be quite corruptible (generally either by racial power in the case of the Democrats or business donations in the case of Republicans).

7. Why is Rand Paul holding “national security and border security” hostage to his mass legalization plan? If he were truly concerned about the security of the U.S., wouldn’t he at least push that separately? Yet, Rand Paul is tying them together: demanding mass legalization as a precondition to securing the border.

Rand Paul then details his high-tech plans for border security, which will include “and yes, surveillance drones”. Then:

My plan takes border security a step further than anybody else in Congress. Under my plan, Congress will vote every year on border security. If Congress votes that the border is not secure, elements of immigration reform will cease to go forward and visa programs will be slowed. If Congress does not think the border is secure after five years, every element of immigration reform will be stopped.

8. See #6 above. Congresses come and go, some will be better on immigration than others. The very people who’ve shown themselves to be corruptible on immigration will be the ones voting on whether to continue aspects of Rand Paul’s plan. His plan will give more power to the people and groups that currently try to undercut border security: the ACLU, the National Council of La Raza, and hundreds more. They’ll use that increased power to make sure that, for instance, politicians weaken some aspects of Rand Paul’s plan to allow certain programs to continue (like DACA) even if the border isn’t judged secure. Rand Paul’s last sentence above is cruelly deceptive: he knows that once his plan is started it’s not going to be stopped. The forces that would oppose stopping it or halting parts of it are too strong and have too much money.

Rand Paul continues:

Our nation is a nation of immigrants. Throughout history, our nation has been flooded with immigrants who have moved here with a flavor for the home country, yet they have assimilated into what we know today as America. That idea, and the American Dream, must be protected and preserved.

Immigrants are drawn to the magnet of free market capitalism here in the United States. Our nation should have open arms to immigrants who want to come her and work hard to make a new life in a free nation. As a libertarian-minded senator, I am attracted to the idea of somebody coming to this country with a couple dollars in his pocket, and then through hard work, make the American Dream a reality.

9. See nation of immigrants and immigration tradition fallacy for a discussion of the hoary talking points uses in the first paragraph above.

10. The people and groups that Rand Paul’s plan will give power to tend to oppose assimilation, such as the NCLR. There is little current external pressure on immigrants to assimilate. Those who try to assimilate immigrants tend to get smeared by the far-left and tend to back down. Rand Paul’s plan would make that worse.

11. The U.S. is a lot more than just the shopping mall/flea market Rand Paul envisions. Some immigrants have opinions on various topics that simply aren’t compatible with fundamental American concepts. We can’t have people coming here just because they want to make money: that’s not what the U.S. is all about.

Rand Paul ends with this:

I do not support amnesty, which is why I don’t support our current system with no border security and a blind eye to the problem.

I support legal, not illegal, immigration. We must embrace immigration and immigrants, and we must recognize that our country has been enriched by those who seek the freedom to make better lives for themselves. However, our current system is broken, and we cannot move towards reform until our border is truly and fully secure.

Rand Paul is still playing word games, still using bogus talking points (system is broken), and still holding border security hostage to his mass legalization plan. He’s also not putting numbers on the (no doubt high) legal immigration he wants.

We could move forward on border security right now. Rand Paul could go on a crusade demanding that Obama enforce immigration laws at the border and at the workplace. Rand Paul could speak out against the various actions Eric Holder and other administration officials have taken to encourage more illegal immigration. Instead, Rand Paul is holding all that hostage to a massive legalization plan that would have massive negative impacts on the U.S.

If you were and still are a Rand Paul supporter, I want to change your mind. Contact me at @24AheadDotCom.

If, on the other hand, you realize how deceptive Rand Paul is and want to oppose his plans, then make the arguments on this page to those who haven’t seen the light. That could take you as little as a few minutes: search Twitter for those who tweet approvingly to @SenRandPaul, and then make the points on this page to them.