For everyone who insisted that it was never going to happen, it looks like today will be the day. President Donald Trump is expected to sign an order which will begin the process of Building the Great Wall On Our Southern Border. If those words sound familiar, it’s because Trump repeated them on the campaign trail some number of times which would probably require Deep Blue to tally up. (New York Times)
President Trump on Wednesday will order the construction of a Mexican border wall — the first in a series of actions this week to crack down on immigrants and bolster national security, including slashing the number of refugees who can resettle in the United States and blocking Syrians and others from “terror prone” nations from entering, at least temporarily…
“Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday night. “Among many other things, we will build the wall!”
Mr. Trump will sign the executive order for the wall during an appearance at the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday, as Mexico’s foreign minister, Luis Videgaray, arrives in Washington to prepare for the visit of President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico. Mr. Peña Nieto will be among the first foreign leaders to meet the new president at the end of the month.
If anyone wants to stand in front of a camera today and act shocked by this, the first question for them would be to ask what universe they’ve been living in for the past two years. Building the wall wasn’t just a cornerstone of Trump’s presidential campaign… at times it sounded like the entire campaign. It’s what brought people to their feet at all of those rallies and was no doubt a large part of what drove them to the polls to vote for him.
There are a couple of complicating factors here however, both foreign and domestic. On the latter front, as noted in the Times article, Trump is expected to welcome Mexican President Pena Nieto for a visit in the very near future. They’re going to be discussing trade for the most part but it’s a bit far fetched to think this isn’t going to come up. Keep in mind that there were two parts to the chanting going on at Trump’s rallies. Not only was he going to build the wall, but Mexico was going to pay for it. That was easy enough for the Mexican government to dismiss when they were assuming that Hillary Clinton would be president, but now reality is settling in. Trump can’t back down from at least some sort of symbolic measure which collects money from Mexico to offset the costs. The real question now is what sort of deal the two leaders can cut which makes that happen while still allowing Nieto to save face.
The domestic issue deals with the money as well. The hot new trend in Democratic circles (and left leaning media) is that they’ve suddenly taken an interest in the national debt and how much things cost. The question, “how will the president pay for this” is one they were never able to ask about Obama, but this week even Nancy Pelosi was bringing up the price tag. We’re talking about a matter of roughly $14B by some estimates. Seriously? The same people who are all onboard for a trillion dollar infrastructure plan are actually going to draw the battle lines over a $14B construction project?
Will Congress balk at the cost? If they want to get anything else done with Trump further down the line they’ll probably have to suck it up and find the money. If they can include some sort of provision to collect a portion of it from Mexico in the process, that might be the bit of sugar that helps the medicine go down.