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The Wall

 
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05 January 2019 13:59
 
Quadrewple - 05 January 2019 12:47 PM

I’m not even very bullish on a wall (it has obvious costs and benefits), but to deny the issue of border security is simply insane.  People who aren’t concerned with border security ought to move near a border crossing…...put your money where your mouth is.  Better yet, let an illegal immigrant stay in your own house.  Hire people for your business without background checks….....stop using arguments in regards to border security which you would not for a second entertain in other, analogous situations in life.

Will Trump declare a national emergency in order to get funding for a wall?  Entirely possible.  This should be interesting.

I think every thinking person has to honestly answer “Do I want the US as a distinct geopolitical entity to exist or not?” 

The right seem to be very clear that their answer is YES.
The left seem to be very clear that they are undecided on this.

If we don’t need to secure our southern border, why wouldn’t it make sense for Mexico and the US to become one political entity?  Serious question…..

We could severely punishing people who hire, sell to, or rent to illegal immigrants.  If you use drugs, you go to jail.  If you use illegal immigrants, you go to jail.  That will severely limit the incentive (jobs) for illegals to come in the first place.  And don’t pretend you don’t know where illegals are.

We could start with the California agriculture sector.  Just raid the fields during harvest time and fine the shit out of the farmers.  Word will spread and a huge part of the problem will solve itself.  Next, go after the president’s hotels and fine the shit out of him for hiring illegals.  The slaughterhouses are easy targets, too.  There is already a national I.D. program being implemented, so require everyone to have one so a federal database may be created to differentiate illegals.  If you are caught without a federal I.D. you are detained until your citizenship status can be determined.  Illegals are deported, and citizens are fined.

Those are my proposals

Also, why didn’t Trump and the Republicans do something, anything, about immigration policy while they held all the power?  A wall is not the only solution to illegal immigration.  It is strange they did nothing since they are the ones crying about it.  Complaining about a problem without offering solutions and/or doing something about it when you have every means to do so means it really isn’t a problem.

Also, please define “securing the border,” and your proposal to do so.  Since this is a problem dear enough to you, then it is your responsibility to do a cost benefit analysis of your program, too, to be sure the costs do not outweigh the benefits.

 
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05 January 2019 16:07
 
Skipshot - 05 January 2019 01:59 PM

We could severely punishing people who hire, sell to, or rent to illegal immigrants.  If you use drugs, you go to jail.  If you use illegal immigrants, you go to jail.  That will severely limit the incentive (jobs) for illegals to come in the first place.  And don’t pretend you don’t know where illegals are.

The problem is the conflict of interest which occurs the second an illegal immigrant is hired on a big farm or other big money institution.  The second this happens, big business and politicians can establish mutually beneficial arrangements wherein they both “get to earn” to use the cliche mob line.  It all comes down to enforcement priorities, which can easily be influenced by corruption.

I agree with your suggestions, I just don’t see why a physical barrier and these changes would be mutually exclusive.  The physical barrier probably needn’t cover the entire border either….only the major points of illegal entry and then from there we could assess as needed.

The political element to “The Wall” is of course obvious for both sides.  If Trump gets his wall (whether it’s a full wall or partial wall) , that is a lasting physical barrier which points to his success as a president (by his measure), whether this is a rational thing or not.  Obviously people and politicians who don’t like Trump have a vested interest in there not being a wall, which is of course separate from the practicality of the wall as opposed and/or in addition to other strategies.  Both sides have their political objectives….I’m just interested in debating policy.

Skipshot - 05 January 2019 01:59 PM

Also, why didn’t Trump and the Republicans do something, anything, about immigration policy while they held all the power?  A wall is not the only solution to illegal immigration.  It is strange they did nothing since they are the ones crying about it.  Complaining about a problem without offering solutions and/or doing something about it when you have every means to do so means it really isn’t a problem.

If a simple problem is not fixed by one of the richest governments in the world, rest assured that it benefits politicians on both sides of the aisle.  Donald Trump called the bluff of other Republicans by emphasizing border security the most - it was a bluff because Republicans had been providing some lip service but no action.

To answer your question though, I’m only trying to accurately assess and frame the situation in front of us right now with the wall.  What politicians choose to do is outside my control, so it’s not a particularly fruitful topic, unless there is an action that can be taken based on it.

Skipshot - 05 January 2019 01:59 PM

Also, please define “securing the border,” and your proposal to do so.  Since this is a problem dear enough to you, then it is your responsibility to do a cost benefit analysis of your program, too, to be sure the costs do not outweigh the benefits.

It’s not really my program though….it’s not like I’m Trump’s advisor.

As for what my definition of securing the border is, respectfully I don’t think that is a relevant question.  The more relevant question is, what is a logical course of action for us as a nation right now in regards to all the problems illegal immigration presents (whether due to existing laws, lack thereof, or due to the specific situation on the US-Mexico border).

Trump is providing a logical, but incomplete course of action with his wall.  Logical but incomplete is actually pretty good for politics, if you consider human history or even the present day.

It’s ALSO a logical but incomplete course of action to make the proposals you’re making.  But is there even lip service being paid to your ideas from anyone who can do anything about it? 

Life is like chess, we can’t calculate everything - oftentimes the best we have in front of us is to choose a logical but incomplete course of action.  For people like me for whom border security is a concern, this represents one of those situations.  It’s not like I’m Trump’s advisor….in which case I’d probably bring up the points you’re making.

Again, would you personally live near a border crossing?  The answer to this question is relevant whether or not “the wall” is the best current strategy, because it speaks to the risk of the people with actual skin in the game.

Another thing:  Trump has a vested interest in a wall over the ID proposals you’re talking about.  A wall “creates” jobs, which is a major part of his brand - a more centralized ID system doesn’t necessarily create jobs.

 
 
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05 January 2019 19:08
 
Quadrewple - 05 January 2019 04:07 PM
Skipshot - 05 January 2019 01:59 PM

We could severely punishing people who hire, sell to, or rent to illegal immigrants.  If you use drugs, you go to jail.  If you use illegal immigrants, you go to jail.  That will severely limit the incentive (jobs) for illegals to come in the first place.  And don’t pretend you don’t know where illegals are.

The problem is the conflict of interest which occurs the second an illegal immigrant is hired on a big farm or other big money institution.  The second this happens, big business and politicians can establish mutually beneficial arrangements wherein they both “get to earn” to use the cliche mob line.  It all comes down to enforcement priorities, which can easily be influenced by corruption.

This is exactly the answer I was looking for.  Business depends on illegal immigration to keep costs down and labor from causing disruptions.  Illegal workers have no recourse to mistreatment.  Politicians need a boogie man to play to the fears of their constituents as a distraction.  In both cases, solving the illegal immigration problem is not a serious consideration, and in fact may actually be against their interests.

On the other hand, demonizing illegal immigrants makes it dangerous for illegals in a number of ways.  One, citizens are more likely to treat them as second-class people (not citizens), much like homosexuals were/are which tacitly encourages violence, intimidation, and outright ostracism.  Secondly, illegals will not seek the authorities to address a grievance or crime out of fear of deportation, so their community is rife with stress and uncertainty, which leads to unhealthy psychological manifestations much like PTSD.

As for a wall, that is merely a symbol of pretending to do something about illegal immigration.  The wall itself, as proposed, is useless in actually stopping illegal immigration, as proven by the barriers already in place not working.  And, yes, I live in Oakland, CA, which is crawling with illegal immigrants of all kinds, not just Latinos, and my anecdotal experience is that they keep their problems to themselves and leave me out of it.  The diversity they bring is both welcome and unwelcome, but this is mostly cultural misunderstanding and can be expected when cultures meet.  I am so accustomed to the diversity that I actually feel nervous going to places which are overwhelmingly white, and I’m white.

Illegal immigrants are either economic refugees or capitalistic opportunists.  They are either trying to make a better life for themselves, or are taking advantage of higher pay.  In the latter case, they would be stupid to pick lettuce in Mexico for $5/day when they can make $80/day just crossing an imaginary line and their living conditions in the US would be similar to Mexico (lowly housing, few worker protections, little chance for advancement).  If I were offered to do my same job for five times the pay with no change in my living conditions if I were to move to another state, then many would consider me to be stupid not to take the opportunity.

In conclusion, solving illegal immigration is not in the interests of business and politics, but keeping it a “problem” is.

 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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08 January 2019 15:37
 
Skipshot - 05 January 2019 07:08 PM

In conclusion, solving illegal immigration is not in the interests of business and politics, but keeping it a “problem” is.

Exactly! Who was the idiot on another thread who insisted that the government does the “will of the people?”

Now, after decades of both political parties making empty promises and kicking the can down the road, along comes a presidential candidate who makes it his signal campaign issue. To keep it simple, he frames it as building a wall. Obviously, a wall isn’t going to solve the problem—we’re too dependent on illegal labor—but it symbolizes his commitment. And he gets elected! Now the two parties who refused to do anything about it are obstructing him. He’s absolutely right to resort to any means to follow through on his promise. If only more politicians took their campaign promises as seriously.

Having said that, the time for symbolism is long past. This is where Trump goes from playing 4D chess to bumbling idiot. The wall should be a bargaining chip for more comprehensive reform. As you suggest, we should create a way for low-skilled workers to come here and work on a temporary basis legally. Crack down on employers who hire people here illegally. And withhold benefits and entitlements—and sanctuary—for people here illegally. That’s what he should be proposing now, as a compromise.

Then, if that doesn’t work, he can fall back on the wall as a kind of “poison pill.” He will at that point have gained the moral high ground in terms of being the one who’s willing to compromise.

The problem might be that most of his supporters are too dense or stubborn to see that the wall is neither necessary or sufficient to solve our illegal immigration problems. In which case all he did was paint himself into a corner.

 
 
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08 January 2019 15:46
 

Yesterday, Pres Trump wrote to Congress:
“Walls work. That’s why rich, powerful, and successful people build them around their homes.”
So now we know where he got the idea.

 
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10 January 2019 06:02
 

Texas landowners prepare for wall fight; Trump to visit border (January 10)
https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/texas-landowners-prepare-for-wall-fight-trump-to-visit-border-1.4972686

As U.S. President Donald Trump travels to the border in Texas to make the case for his $5.7 billion wall, landowner Eloisa Cavazos says she knows firsthand how the project will play out if the White House gets its way.

The federal government has started surveying land along the border in Texas and announced plans to start construction next month. Rather than surrender their land, some property owners are digging in, vowing to reject buyout offers and preparing to fight the administration in court.

“You could give me a trillion dollars and I wouldn’t take it,” said Cavazos, whose land sits along the Rio Grande, the river separating the U.S. and Mexico in Texas. “It’s not about money.”

“Everybody tells us to sell and go to a better place,” Eloisa Cavazos said. “This is heaven to us.”


Looks like Trump faces heavy resistance from more than just Congress, including a chapel and small and large landowners.

 

 
 
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10 January 2019 11:11
 
Jan_CAN - 10 January 2019 06:02 AM

Texas landowners prepare for wall fight; Trump to visit border (January 10)
https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/texas-landowners-prepare-for-wall-fight-trump-to-visit-border-1.4972686

As U.S. President Donald Trump travels to the border in Texas to make the case for his $5.7 billion wall, landowner Eloisa Cavazos says she knows firsthand how the project will play out if the White House gets its way.

The federal government has started surveying land along the border in Texas and announced plans to start construction next month. Rather than surrender their land, some property owners are digging in, vowing to reject buyout offers and preparing to fight the administration in court.

“You could give me a trillion dollars and I wouldn’t take it,” said Cavazos, whose land sits along the Rio Grande, the river separating the U.S. and Mexico in Texas. “It’s not about money.”

“Everybody tells us to sell and go to a better place,” Eloisa Cavazos said. “This is heaven to us.”


Looks like Trump faces heavy resistance from more than just Congress, including a chapel and small and large landowners.

NBC news:  Test shows steel wall can be cut through with conventional industrial tools.  https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/test-steel-prototype-border-wall-showed-it-could-be-sawed-n956856

Another thing:  I started thinking of all the movie westerns and true-crime stories where U.S. robbers and murderers flee into Mexico.  Sundance and Butch?

 
 
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10 January 2019 11:16
 

Unfortunately, Trump has surrounded himself with people who bolster his views.  He is insulated from hearing opposition from the public.  He doesn’t care that the majority of Americans don’t support the wall and the shutdown.  He’s just trying to hold onto the core of his supporters.  It’s political maneuvering and ego maintenance.

 
Quadrewple
 
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10 January 2019 12:00
 
hannahtoo - 10 January 2019 11:16 AM

He doesn’t care that the majority of Americans don’t support the wall and the shutdown.

This isn’t a democracy - Trump’s base put him there because border security is a concern and it is laughable that the country with the most aggressive foreign policy can’t even secure its own border.

By the way, this brings up a larger discussion - what is the respective responsibility of two bordering countries when one is financially and institutionally competent and the other isn’t?

There’s so much depth of conversation to be had, why aren’t we talking about this?  Politics, at the end of the day is about policy.

Arguing about people instead of policy is one of the main reasons our public discourse has turned into rubbish.


hannahtoo - 10 January 2019 11:16 AM

He’s just trying to hold onto the core of his supporters.  It’s political maneuvering and ego maintenance.

Okay, but the exact same is true about the Democrats so it’s a bit of a non-point.  By the way, don’t you find it mildly amusing that the longest government shutdown in US history is over adding security to a porous border?  Like…...the opposing party is not trying to stop a war!  It’s not trying to stop some massive legislation that economically cripples America!  It’s trying to stop the carrying out of the most basic functions of government (the ability to secure its borders.)

Why should anyone who would withhold paychecks in protest of a border wall on a porous border receive a single penny of my tax dollars?  What’s next - politicians refusing to fund police?  The government refuses to pave the roads?  I realize that’s not happening, but do you see my point?  This is a basic rejection of the “social contract” - which is the delusion that got us to this point that libertarians have been warning everyone else about for almost a century.

If the “social contract” is broken, the legitimacy of the government is also broken and they as an organization don’t deserve our money.  This is what Republicans can’t articulate but it is why those of us who see the big picture in this situation are gradually becoming jaded to the future of this country.

It takes a lifetime of brainwashing to not see this situation for what it is.  The entire narrative around why we have a nation-state is under attack, but only it remains an implicit attack because of cowardice.

It’s open borders or secure borders.  We’re a country or we’re not.  The character of Trump is such a pointless discussion when this is what hangs in the balance.

[ Edited: 10 January 2019 12:06 by Quadrewple]
 
 
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10 January 2019 12:30
 
Quadrewple - 10 January 2019 12:00 PM
hannahtoo - 10 January 2019 11:16 AM

He doesn’t care that the majority of Americans don’t support the wall and the shutdown.

This isn’t a democracy - Trump’s base put him there because border security is a concern and it is laughable that the country with the most aggressive foreign policy can’t even secure its own border.

It takes a lifetime of brainwashing to not see this situation for what it is.  The entire narrative around why we have a nation-state is under attack, but only it remains an implicit attack because of cowardice.

It’s open borders or secure borders.  We’re a country or we’re not.  The character of Trump is such a pointless discussion when this is what hangs in the balance.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maginot_Line 

Quad, please take a few minutes to skim over this site.  Care to guess what the French spent building the Maginot Line?  Are you aware that a million people go back and forth across the southern U.S. border every day?  2000 trucks?  Do you have an inkling what the Democrats are talking about when they advocate spending money on border security?

 
 
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10 January 2019 22:55
 
unsmoked - 10 January 2019 12:30 PM

Quad, please take a few minutes to skim over this site.  Care to guess what the French spent building the Maginot Line?  Are you aware that a million people go back and forth across the southern U.S. border every day?  2000 trucks?  Do you have an inkling what the Democrats are talking about when they advocate spending money on border security?

I think I’ve already addressed your points - the wall need not cover the whole border, I support additional measures which take away incentives for illegal immigrants to come here, etc.  Do you have any counterpoints to mine?

 
 
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11 January 2019 11:50
 
Quadrewple - 10 January 2019 10:55 PM
unsmoked - 10 January 2019 12:30 PM

Quad, please take a few minutes to skim over this site.  Care to guess what the French spent building the Maginot Line?  Are you aware that a million people go back and forth across the southern U.S. border every day?  2000 trucks?  Do you have an inkling what the Democrats are talking about when they advocate spending money on border security?

I think I’ve already addressed your points - the wall need not cover the whole border, I support additional measures which take away incentives for illegal immigrants to come here, etc.  Do you have any counterpoints to mine?

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/trump-migrant-caravan-where-mexico-honduras-guatemala-central-america-a8597741.html

quote:  “To understand the current crisis in the Northern Triangle, one must go back to the 1960s. Guatemala and El Salvador both experienced civil wars which spanned decades and killed hundreds of thousands of people collectively. In Guatemala, the US helped stage a coup against the democratically-elected government in favour of a military junta, which it then spent decades supporting despite well-documented human rights abuses. It’s a similar story in El Salvador. Honduras did not have a civil war, but it was used as a staging ground for the Contras, a far-right guerrilla group backed by the Reagan administration in neighbouring Nicaragua’s civil war. These wars – backed by the American intelligence agencies – destabilised the region and subjected generations to a cycle of extreme poverty and violence.”

 

 
 
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11 January 2019 22:12
 

Update:  The prototypes of border walls were tested for their ability to resist breaching, and according to this report, they failed:  https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/test-steel-prototype-border-wall-showed-it-could-be-sawed-n956856?fbclid=IwAR197W3pt46AxQBTsq9bbNuKgSNSVyKbETpeLjqmDa-k8j23RPgtUVtbmoc

President Donald Trump has repeatedly advocated for a steel slat design for his border wall, which he described as “absolutely critical to border security” in his Oval Office address to the nation Tuesday. But Department of Homeland Security testing of a steel slat prototype proved it could be cut through with a saw, according to a report by DHS.

. . . and. . .

“The professionals on the border know that a wall system is intended not only to prevent entry, it is intended to defer and to increase the amount of time and effort it takes for one to enter so that we can respond with limited border patrol agents. Even a wall that is being breached is a valuable tool in that it allows us to respond to the attempted illegal entry.”

In response to KPBS, CBP spokesman Ralph DeSio said the prototypes “were not and cannot be designed to be indestructible,” but were designed to “impede or deny efforts to scale, breach, or dig under such a barrier, giving agents time to respond.”

So, the latest update from our very stable genius is that he has completely abandoned his campaign promise to have Mexico pay for the wall because Mexico has emphatically refused to do so (and the previous Mexican president twice cancelled planned visits to the White House because balls-to-the-wall Donnie kept bringing up the issue), to withholding the paychecks of federal workers until American citizens agree to pay for the wall; prototypes of which are not meant to prevent breaching or entry, but to slow down intruders until border patrol agents can respond.

Does anyone see a face-saving way out of the lies the best president ever has strewn?  Perhaps he can declare the wall has been built by Mexico with Mexican pesos on the Mexican side of the border, and any reporter who investigates the claim will be deemed an enemy of the state and spreader of fake news.  Everyone will believe him, he claims victory, and we move on.

 
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12 January 2019 06:45
 

He might still declare a National Emergency that directs the military to build the wall.  Of course, this declaration would be appealed, all the way to the Supreme Court.  Likely overturned, as NE’s are generally defined as acute unanticipated situations, not long-term controversies.  In any case, Trump could claim to his supporters that he did everything possible to build the wall, but he was thwarted by his opponents.  In his tweets, the Supreme Court could become part of the alleged Deep State aligned against him.

 
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12 January 2019 07:23
 

that this man-child has any support left whatsoever is what truly terrifies and saddens me.

 
 
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