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The Border Wall

Trump’s border wall is nothing more than a political ploy to keep his base together and moving forward. That base is 95% white, xenophobic, and under-educated. The wall does not prevent drug dealers, violent criminals, gang members, or spies coming into America, because this is not where those elements come in. At least for Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, for the last 50 years, this rough open border has been and increasingly becomes a humanitarian crisis of people escaping brutality and poverty, or just wanting to work. Yes, there must be legislation that identifies the root causes of this problem and provides an intelligible series of legal humanitarian solutions. A wall will do nothing except increase the fees of coyotes and exacerbate the situation.

For a number of years, my law practice covered a very large geographical area from Marfa, Texas, to San Angelo, to Midland/Odessa, to El Paso. I represented numerous mules crossing the Rio Grande, who had come up from central Mexico to find work in the U.S. Typically; they were shown their path into the U.S., where to look for water and food and where to try to avoid the border patrol and paid for this by being given a 50 lb. pack of marijuana to carry on their back to a drop point near their 65-mile walk through the mountains to Marfa or some other distant portal into the country. Illegal? Yes. Effective or efficient? No. But no drugs of great quantity crosses that barren and naturally dangerous border, nor do massive human traffickers other than coyotes with families of 20 or so. Most of those walking those hundreds and hundreds of miles are either farm and ranch workers, or families trying to escape brutality and poverty. Tijuana, where most of the bad examples come from, is a different case from Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas and requires a different and hardened approach.

While the motivation of the Trump base is an anti-color agenda which they deny, their action and rhetoric bely what they are really trying to achieve. They do not want to see the browning of America and are driven by stereotypical fear rather than critical thinking. There is no need for a wall but a need for humanitarian establishment and structure under the authority of Homeland Security and Immigration justice with adequate funding. Is there a problem with our porous national border? Indeed. But it is not where Trump wants to put the wall. It is at the legal roadway checkpoints and entrances and the airports. This is where massive amounts of drugs, human trafficking, spies, and gang members get through. It is a real problem and it needs to be dealt with in some reasonable solution or group of solutions.

For example, the vast amount of human trafficking and drug smuggling comes in trucks through road ports of entry. Of course, the border patrol catches a lot. But why does so much more get through? Simply because the border patrol is not given the tools and technology to stop it. If Trump wanted to stop potential crises, realistically, it would have to be at the road entries and airports. Why the Democrats have not seized upon this reality and passed legislation and funding that can give the nation more security is strange and certainly to their detriment.

Our men and women in immigration, all of them from vehicle check to the courts are working with one arm behind them. The vehicle border check procedure is archaic. You use a mirror on a pole to look under parts of the vehicle (imagine a large tractor-trailer); you look the driver in the eye to see if there is nervousness; you bring a smell dog to walk around the vehicle to see if it smells anything; then, you examine the driver’s transport manifest papers to see if there is anything out of order. Meanwhile, in a special soundproof compartment with no air, 60 people are packed and locked. In another false bottom, there is a million-dollar worth of cocaine and meth.

Every road port of entry into the U.S. should have complete radar technology for driving any size of vehicle through to discover what is in it. Instead of a 5-billion-dollar wall that will only keep out poor people, 5 billion dollars for intrusive radar detection equipment would solve a lot of problems. For example, the Rapiscan Systems company has that technology ready to sell and implement. There are numerous other companies that can provide it as well. Even then, Homeland Security has the ability to enhance this with listening devices and other technology. However, there is no funding. Instead, the Republicans have chosen to play for votes with Trump’s base by not funding real border security but with poorly analyzed, misplaced motivated thinking, and inflammatory rhetoric to drum up the base.

One wonders if logical and critical thinking will ever overcome political purpose.

Wall of Shame

Cesar Sayoc: 14 pipe bombs mailed to Democratic Party leaders and supporters. All intercepted by law enforcement. 2018.

Robert Bowers: 11 Jewish worshippers murdered, 6 wounded for life. Pittsburgh, PA, 2018.

Omar Mateen: murderer of gays, 49 innocent humans murdered. Orlando, FL, 2016.

Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, 14 citizens murdered, 22 injured. San Bernardino, CA, 2015.

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, 13 soldiers murdered, 30 wounded for life. Fort Hood, TX, 2013.

Adam Lanza: murderer of children and teachers, 26 murdered. Newtown, CN, 2012.

Jiverly Wong, 13 citizens murdered, four wounded for life. Binghamton, NY, 2009.

Seung-Hui Cho: murderer of Virginia Tech college students, 32 students murdered. ‎Blacksburg, VA, 2007.

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, 13 students murdered, 24 wounded for life. Columbine, CO, 1999.

George Hennard, random murder of citizens, 23 humans murdered. Killeen, TX, 1991.

Patrick Henry Sherrill, 14 co-workers murdered. Edmond, OK, 1986.

James Oliver Huberty, random murder of citizens, 21 humans murdered, 19 wounded for life. San Diego, CA, 1984.

Charles Whitman, murder of University of Texas students, 16 students murdered, 31 wounded for life. Austin, TX, 1966.

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