99 Problems But A Wall Ain't One - YET!
Updated: May 30, 2019
Hey I’m Leo Ashe, and my goal by the end of this is to convince you that the border wall is like Kim Kardashian: a small minority of people are obsessed with it, but objectively it’s stupid, unimportant, and irredeemably tied to a dumbass.
So let’s get to it, I’m Leo Ashe, and here are the 3 BIGGEST ISSUES with Trump's border wall...
THREE MAIN WALL PROBLEMS: #1 COST
1) The Republican obsession with constructing a border wall across the entire almost 2000 mile Mexican border is about as useful as a homeschool education in Alabama.
First off, ever wonder why Texas is such an odd shape? It’s because much of the border is located on the Rio Grande River…
Because of that, we would have to build the actual wall well within American borders (sometimes miles), which makes the land on the other side basically useless, not to mention the damage to the environment.
Also 33% of the border is on Native American tribal land, and 66% of the border is privately owned, so the American government would have to use what’s called "eminent domain" in order to force those people off their land, but they’d still face years of being tied up in lawsuits, in addition to the untold millions in compensation to the property owners, which would include the value of the land, buildings, and a bunch of other things including relocation costs.
That’s probably why ALL of the politicians who represent the areas where border walls would be constructed are against the border wall (Republicans AND Democrats).
But we haven’t even gotten to the best part! According to Trump’s own Office of Management and Budget (OMB) — which of all the organizations who do these estimates would be most similar to the nerds who don’t get laid — they say the actual cost to just build the stupid thing is roughly $60 BILLION.
To put in context, that’s 41 percent more costly than the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimate a few years prior, 2.7 times as expensive as Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan estimated, and I can’t say for Trump because he's changed his budget numbers more than he has wives!
Democrats by the way estimated the cost to be $70 billion, but that may even be conservative, because get this, according to the Cato Institute, THE most prominent libertarian think tank, due to typical construction cost overruns, the type that are likely when dealing with lawsuits and the Rio Grande, the border wall cost is likely to rise to be between 2x to 3.3x the original $60 billion estimate, which is somewhere between 120-200 billion!
As a comparison: $200 billion can pay for our ENTIRE annual budget for policing (100 billion), incarcerations (80 billion), AND NASA (19 billion) COMBINED!
And that doesn’t even count the approximately ($750 million to more likely) $1 billion or more that we’ll need to spend every year — FOREVER — to maintain the wall (and that’s a conservative estimate). Now keep in mind, with $1 billion dollars you could buy ALL of Trump’s assets and you’d still probably have MILLIONS of Rubles left over!
THREE MAIN WALL PROBLEMS: #2 VISA OVERSTAYS
2) Secondly, the LARGE MAJORITY of undocumented immigrants don’t come from across the Mexican border, they come from planes and boats.
In fact, since 2008, more undocumented immigrants have arrived here by visa overstays than by the Mexican border, a pattern that has only increased over the years.
Now if you strictly use government data, according to the Department of Homeland Security, in 2016 and 2017, the percentage of visa overstays vs border crossings was roughly 90 to 10%.
However I tried to confirm those numbers with the non-partisan Center for Migration Studies (CMS). And after speaking with Robert Warren, one of the foremost experts on this topic, he said that the DHS numbers were inflated, due to a number of complex factors, and thus a more accurate comparison would be roughly 67% (or 2/3rds) of undocumented immigrants are from visa overstays.
Which is still the largely majority! And keep in mind, this can always shift even more! If it becomes significantly harder to get across the border, because perhaps Trump starts launching a rabid supporter at anyone who comes within 5 feet, than refugees will likely gravitate towards getting across by planes, trains, or automobiles.
THREE MAIN WALL PROBLEMS: #3 TUNNELS
3) Which brings us to the final problem: YOU FORGOT ABOUT TUNNELS!
In fact, drug smugglers have been using tunnels since the method was pioneered back in 1989 by “El Chapo”, perhaps the most infamous drug trafficker in modern history. And the sophistication of these tunnels has only gotten more advanced. In 2016, U.S. law enforcement found a tunnel that ran more than half a mile, from Tijuana to San Diego, and was equipped with ventilation vents, rails, and electricity.
And altogether, since 1990, 224 tunnels have been unearthed around the Mexican border. And while the border wall goes only 6 feet deep, tunnels can go as deep as 70 feet.
Now you may be tempted to blame this all on Trump, but he's just a symptom of the BS rhetoric that Republicans have been spewing for DECADES.
Which I will cover in my next episode about the Top FIVE BS Republican talking points on immigration and a bold Progressive agenda for immigration.
I’m Leo Ashe, stay angry my friends!
FULL CITATIONS: https://www.leoashe.com/immigration