Keeping in line with his constant backtracking and just generally erratic ways, President Donald Trump has taken a softer stance on what was seen as essentially his core campaign promise by claiming that the 2,000 mile long wall he initially intended to build along the border with Mexico may not need to cover the full distance due to natural borders that already exist.
“You have mountains. You have some rivers that are violent and vicious. You have some areas that are so far away that you don’t really have people crossing,” the President told reporters aboard Air Force One on his recent flight to Paris. “But you’ll need anywhere from 700 to 900 miles.”
Trump made the construction of a “big beautiful wall, with a big beautiful door,” a solid structure 30 feet high in an effort to curb illegal immigration the cornerstone of his 2016 election campaign, insisting that Mexico would pay for it with the cost estimated to be in the vicinity of $20 billion, although he later stated that could be cut by covering the wall in solar panels. Naturally Mexico has refused to pay, most likely because they never requested the border wall in the first place, however, Trump still believes he will find a way to get them to cough up the cash after construction begins.
But if you believe that the President’s insistence that Mexico will reimburse the US for construction for the wall is the only flaw in his plan, you are sadly mistaken. First of all, almost all of that “700 to 900 miles” that Trump mentioned, less than half of the length of the US-Mexico border, already has walls and fences. In fact, the current border wall is already 650 miles long. Also, as for the rivers that are “violent and vicious,” yes a large part of the border in Texas consists of the Rio Grande, but some parts of that river are barely more than a trickle of water.
President Trump also now believes the border wall needs to be transparent. “You have to be able to see through it,” he said. “As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them. They hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It’s over.”
We’re now six months into his presidency and Trump has only requested $1.6 billion from Congress for the project, or roughly 8 percent of the total estimate. Maybe he has just learned that according to Pew Research Center, approximately 66 percent of the illegal immigrants in the US have been here for at least a decade, that the amount of illegal Mexican immigrants has been in decline for the last 10 years and is now one million less than it was in 2007, or that Mexicans only make up 52 percent of illegal immigrants in the United States.
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