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Friday, March 10, 2017


I'm confused, again.  Yesterday, The New York Times reported that illegal border crossings/day were down by 36% in February and 39% in January, compared to the previous year.  Donald Trump is taking full credit for scaring Mexicans and Latin Americans away.

But the Pew Research Center has reported that in the 2009 to 2014 period, more people returned to Mexico than entered the USA:

Further, U.S. News and World Report last year indicated that More Mexicans Leave the U.S. Than Come Across the Border.

So, first, won't a wall retard the efforts of illegal immigrants from leaving the country?  But, more so, if more Mexicans have for almost eight years now been leaving the U.S. than coming in, I guess the latest news must mean that even more are leaving so that the negative net migration figures should further increase. In the meantime, illegal children and families must really be stressing out.

The American Action Forum calculated that it will cost around $500 billion to deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants, and take 20 years.  So while the Environmental Protection Agency will cut 3,000 staff, mostly dealing with topics like global climate change, the Administration will triple the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers for an added cost of $8.4 billion/year.  

The entire EPA annual budget is $8.2 billion.  With more immigrants already leaving than entering, does all this make sense?  Absolutely, according to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who does not believe that carbon dioxide is a main driver of climate change.  I've argued to his contrary too many times at this blog site, so click on this is read the latest from someone else.

Here is the reality of Mexican/Latin American in-migration:
  • In the early 70's, the number of of migrants apprehended attempting to cross our southern border was around 400,000, about the same as today.
  • This number in 1986 went up to 1.7 million, the same as 2000.
  • So the problem today is about a quarter what it was in the past.
  • However, border security funding increased from $263 million in 1990 to $3.8 billion in 2015.
Regarding deportation, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement removal history:

Recently, of those deported, more than 90% were convicted criminals:

So it's not like the Obama Administration was sleeping.

About the Great Wall of Trump:

I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I'll build them very inexpensively — I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.

Delusional, for sure, but if not, certainly deceitful.  So let's start with height of wall.  In August, it was to be 30 feet long, which went up to 50 feet in October, then back down to 35 feet in February.  The latest?  55 feet.

Our border is just around 2,000 miles long, but around 650 miles (nominally 18 feet tall) are already in place.  Not as challenging as the Great of Wall of China, extending more than 13,000 miles.  Plus, they begun building 500 years before Jesus Christ, and only finished around 500 years ago, oh...about 2000 years.  This comparison shows the Trump Wall as only 1000 miles, so they must be pessimistic about something.

So how much will this wall cost?  Yesterday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Mexico would not be doing the paying.  I haven't seen any responding Donald tweet to the contrary, yet.  McConnell estimates the cost to be $15 billion, at most.
The reality is that "people on the Hill" think the cost could be as high as $50 billion.  The entire budget of the Department of Homeland Security this year will be $40 billion.

National polls keep changing, but here is a CNN poll showing 60% against building it and 74% saying it's unlikely that Mexico will pay for it.  A Pew Poll showed just about the same opposition.  However, 67% of Republicans are in favor, and 84% of Trump supporters.  Regarding immigrants, 56% of Republicans consider them to be a burden, while 78% of Democrats call them a benefit.

In short, Donald Trump is already doing a great job scaring illegal immigrants to voluntarily leave the country, something that has been happening anyway.  The funds for any Great Wall of Trump can better be used for other more important national priorities.  But one gets lost in appreciating the value of a billion dollars.  Until you look at what our country is doing to support the Military-Industrial Complex.

Yes, our military budget.  We already spend more for war than the next eight countries, together.  Trump wants to increase defense funds by $54 billion, plus, the House Armed Services Committee wants to add ANOTHER $37 billion (for a total of $91 billion).  Why?  It's obvious, the Military-Industrial Complex.  President Dwight D. Eisenhower was right.  That was 56 years ago.  Except for a few dangerous terrorists, there is no formidable Soviet Union anymore, and China couldn't care less about any war with the USA.


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