Past Features

October 29, 2015

A Shrinking Border Wall
Trump calls for 1,000 miles -- not 3,000

Breitbart -- October 28, 2015
Trump Walks Backs from Low-Immigration, High-Wage Plan
    At the CNBC Republican primary debate, Donald Trump walked away from two critical elements of his immigration policy. He downsized his proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall, and he disavowed his prior commitment to curb corporate use of foreign university graduates.
    Instead of a coast-to-coast, 3,000-mile wall across the United States, Trump said he wanted to build a 1,000-mile wall, without extending it to parts of the border that are rugged.
We're going to build the wall, we're going to create a border... They built The Great Wall of China. That's 13,000 miles. Here, we actually need a thousand, because we have natural barriers. So we need a thousand. We can do a wall. We're going to have a big, fat beautiful door right in the middle of the wall. We are going to have people come in, but they are coming in legally.
     He did not mention his prior promise to return U.S.-educated, U.S.-trained, illegal immigrants to their home countries. [...]
    Trump's August plan is largely based in Sen. Session's labor-force policies, which would boost jobs and wages for Americans by sharply reducing the annual inflow of 700,000 temporary foreign workers and of one million immigrants.
    In 2013, President Barack Obama and the 1965 immigration law added roughly two million new foreign workers, just as 4.4 million young Americans joined the workforce. That year, Americans' wages stalled, and the stock market grew by roughly $5 trillion.
    Trump's turnabout on the foreign-worker issue is also seen in his pending book, Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again.
    “I don't want to stop legal immigration to this country. In fact, I would like to reform and increase immigration in some important ways,” he writes on page 29, according to a Politico article.

Glenn Spencer -- American Border Patrol
A Rational Approach to Border Security
    There are two types of border in the American Southwest - one defined by a "line in the sand", and another defined by a river - the Rio Grande. The “line in the sand” runs from El Paso, Texas, to San Diego, California, and is about 715 miles long. Of that length, about 650 miles could be fenced off. The part defined by the Rio Grande River is 1,896 miles long, and this is where building a fence, or wall, becomes problematic.
    As of late 2009, there were about 125 miles of fencing along the Rio Grande in Texas, leaving about 1,770 miles open.
    Much of the Rio Grande runs through very difficult terrain, such as the Big Bend National and State Parks.
    A levee follows the Rio Grande for about 500 miles, and about 50 miles of fencing has been built atop it.
     It seems feasible to construct effective fencing along about 1,000 miles of the roughly 2,600 mile southwest border, possibly more. Technology can fill in the gaps where needed.
    The question is: What do we need? A rational approach would be to set a goal of reducing illegal cross border traffic to an acceptable level at an acceptable cost.