“WASHINGTON ()—As America’s bridges, roads, and other infrastructure dangerously deteriorate from decades of neglect, there is a mounting sense of urgency that it is time to build a giant wall.
Across the U.S., whose rail system is a rickety antique plagued by deadly accidents, Americans are increasingly recognizing that building a wall with Mexico, and possibly another one with Canada, should be the country’s top priority.
Harland Dorrinson, the executive director of a Washington-based think tank called the Center for Responsible Immigration, believes that most Americans favor the building of border walls over extravagant pet projects like structurally sound freeway overpasses.
“The estimated cost of a border wall with Mexico is five billion dollars,” he said. “We could easily blow the same amount of money on infrastructure repairs and have nothing to show for it but functioning highways.”
Will the incoming Trump Administration sound the death knell for political satirists like Andy Horowitz? It’s getting pretty hard to tell the difference among “satire,” “fake news,” “made up facts,” and what passes for “truth” these days.
After all, we do actually have a a group of so-called “fiscal conservatives” in Congress lining up to throw perhaps as much as eight billion dollars (almost like “real money”) at a project that most immigration experts, whether “hardliners” or “softliners,” agree is a waste of time and money and won’t solve the problems of border security and immigration enforcement. These same legislators can’t, or won’t, come up with the money to fund things like health care, the safety net, public education, our infrastructure, or government salaries.
And, for those of us who are, probably naively, hoping that soon to be Attorney General Jeff Sessions would take his new, broader responsibilities to our country seriously, rethink some of his ill-advised anti-immigrant positions, and at least occasionally act as the “adult in the room” — counseling prudence and moderation — there is some, perhaps not unexpected, bad news.
According to the article below from today’s Washington Post, Sessions and his closest advisers apparently are working behind the scenes to “egg on” the Administration and Congress to throw taxpayer money at this futile, and nationally embarrassing, project. Could we fix the current mess in the U.S. Immigration Courts — which Sessions will run — for eight billion dollars? You bet we could!
We could build a first-class, independent, due process oriented court system that would be a source of national pride and would live up to its currently unfulfilled vision of “through teamwork and innovation be the world’s best tribunals, guaranteeing fairness and due process for all.” And, there would be plenty left over from the eight billion dollars to spend on thoughtful immigration and border enforcement if that’s what Sessions and others in the Administration and Congress really want. It should be a classic “win-win.” But, will it happen? Only time will tell. But, the early signs aren’t very promising.