by Brian Lonergan
Although it sometimes may seem as though we live in a complex world and our country is beset with crises on all fronts, it is important to recognize that some of the most effective remedies are elegantly simple. They have worked for centuries and would work again today. We only lack the will as a people to implement them with conviction, and to shun the cacophony of malcontents who would seek to complicate sensible solutions.
Such is the case with the crisis on our southern border. While there are few issues as thorny as immigration, there are some things we can do that would help mitigate the problems considerably. One of the most obvious would be to construct a fortified barrier on the border.
The Left has treated the idea of a border wall like a piñata for years because it plays into some of their favorite narratives. “A wall is an immorality. It’s not who we are as a nation,” Nancy Pelosi proclaimed. A wall has also been attacked as xenophobic, alleged evidence of Americans’ sinister instincts to keep out those who don’t look like us.
Such claims are getting harder to make in light of current events. The government of the Dominican Republic announced this month that it has started to build a wall that will cover almost half of its border with Haiti. Dominican President Luis Abinader stated that the wall would reduce organized crime, irregular migration and the smuggling of commercial goods and weapons.
The Dominican Republic and Haiti share the island of Hispaniola, dominated by a mix of ethnicities originating from Africa, Spain, and other regions. Are we to believe that this wall was motivated by xenophobia?
A more likely motivation is that the Dominican Republic has worked to become a stable, prosperous tourist destination, while decades of corrupt leadership have kept Haiti poor and underdeveloped. In a place with very different demographics from the United States, the Dominican Republic chose to build a wall because it is in the best interests of its people and their nation.
The United States, by comparison, is in dire need of leaders who act in the best interests of our people and our nation. Despite inheriting one of the safest borders in modern American history, Joe Biden moved quickly after being inaugurated to terminate the construction of the new border wall, resulting in vast fields of steel wall sections rusting in the sun, each section costing about $5,000. So agenda-driven is this White House that it paid contractors not to build the wall.
While such activism plays well with politicians in blue metropolitan areas, it has tragic results when employed by chief executives responsible for national security and protecting the nation from crime and drug trafficking.
The White House is months overdue in releasing its report on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) activity for fiscal year 2021, and a leaked version of the report explains why.
Total deportations were down 70 percent from the previous year. Of the 143,355 illegal aliens who were released into the country, more than 16,000 have convictions or charges for non-immigration related crimes. The numbers are even worse than they appear, as the first three months of the fiscal year were in the law-and-order Trump Administration.
There is little doubt that these numbers would be better had Biden not ended wall construction. A robust wall would also help with our nation’s war on fentanyl addiction, currently the leading cause of death for Americans ages 18 to 45. Immigration officials have described how cartels will surge points of entry with their human cargo to overwhelm the border patrol, while they sneak opioids across unguarded, unwalled border areas.
Alas, the one thing that will make an activist politician change positions is self-preservation. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has begun building a state- and privately-funded wall rather than deal with our absentee federal landlord. With Biden’s approval ratings in a nosedive and midterm elections approaching, the federal government has donated $6 million worth of those unused wall sections to build the Texas wall.
As the public’s disapproval with the border crisis has intensified, Biden is donating the wall materials in an attempt to give himself a fig leaf that he is actually for border security. In typical Biden fashion, it’s another case of too little, too late—a shameless attempt to obscure the mess he created.
America doesn’t need a uniform wall from San Diego to Brownsville. There are geographical barriers and other considerations that make it unnecessary. We need to listen to our border enforcement professionals, and place walls along the border for maximum effectiveness.
Walls are not immoral and they are not xenophobic. They are indicators of a government that values its nation and its people.
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Brian Lonergan is an adjunct fellow of the Center for American Greatness and director of communications at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.