I’m sure you’ve seen the gloating headlines about border wall construction in the media from liberal outlets recently. A few days ago, Axios crowed that “not a single mile has been built where no barrier existed before.” Last week the WaPo declared that “Trump’s border wall is now a monument to his failure.” So I guess that about wraps it up, eh? No wall for you, Mr. President.
Except that doesn’t seem to be the case. In fact, construction is gearing up in multiple locations already. More on this from the Associated Press.
South of Yuma, Arizona, the tall brown bollards rising against a cloudless desert sky will replace much shorter barriers that are meant to keep out cars, but not people.
This 5-mile (8-kilometer) section of fencing is where President Donald Trump’s most salient campaign promise — to build a wall along the entire southern border — is taking shape.
The president and his administration said this week that they plan on building between 450 and 500 miles (724 and 806 kilometers) of fencing along the nearly 2,000-mile (3,218-kilometer) border by the end of 2020, an ambitious undertaking funded by billions of defense dollars that had been earmarked for things like military base schools, target ranges and maintenance facilities.
I agree with the AP report saying that 450 to 500 miles of the border wall by next year is “ambitious” (to say the least), but it’s not impossible. And as long as the new construction is focused on the areas where the most illegal traffic is crossing the border, it will make a significant difference. (We’re already seeing measurable decreases in crossings thanks to help from Mexico, but we still need a significant barrier to really drive those numbers down.)
The trick that’s being used by Axios, the Washington Post, and others to claim that there’s no “new wall” being built is that they add on a caveat in the fine print. They specify “where no previous barrier existed before.” But that’s a distinction without any real meaning. Take the stretch of bollard barrier going up in Yuma for example. Yes, there was technically a “barrier” there before, but it was a barrier to stop vehicles from driving over You can walk right through there with little more than a hop. A child could do it.
What it’s being replaced with is a series of 30-foot tall steel bollards. And it’s not just a wall, by the way. As the Washington Examiner reported earlier this week, it’s actually a “border system.” It includes improved lighting and electronic surveillance to detect attempted crossings, allowing law enforcement to be quickly dispatched to the scene. Yes, it’s taken a while to pull this all together and the Democrats’ stonewalling on funding certainly didn’t help, but it looks like we’re finally making progress.
What continues to amaze me is the desperation among Democrats and their media allies to prevent this from happening. Either you believe that we have immigration laws for a reason or you don’t. And if they really don’t support open borders (as many of them try to claim), why would you object to a wall, fence or barrier that helps control the flow of people?
The answer? Because it was the Bad Orange Man’s idea. That’s why.