While all of these pledges were popular with his supporters, one stood above the rest, “Build the Wall” along the southern border of the United States with Mexico. This slogan really energized Trump crowds throughout the country and for good reason. For years, Americans have heard presidential candidates pledge to “secure the border,” but it was never backed up with concrete action.
Finally, in Donald Trump, the United States has a President who is following through on his campaign promises. On Wednesday, Trump signed an executive order authorizing the construction of the border wall. He also reiterated his vow to make Mexico pay for the wall. This stance led the Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to cancel his planned visit to the White House next week.
Trump’s order is the most specific border security measure since the “Secure Fence Act” of 2006 was passed by Congress and signed by the President George W. Bush. The funding was never allocated to finish the 700 miles of double fencing mandated in the law. In fact, only 36.3 miles of double fencing was completed, the remainder of the authorization was completed with inadequate measures such as single fencing and vehicle barriers.
For decades, our southern border has remained basically wide open enticing millions of illegal aliens to enter the United States, bringing crime and drugs to our cities. Those illegal aliens who have joined the workforce have received benefits funded by taxpayers. Ironically, many of these taxpayers have been displaced from the workforce by the illegal aliens they are supporting.
President Trump has often highlighted the families of victims who have been killed by illegal aliens. This tragedy is made much worse by law enforcement officials in sanctuary cities that have refused to turn over illegal aliens who commit crimes to federal immigration agents. Clearly, too many innocent people have been killed because of a reluctance of our government officials to follow the law.
On Wednesday, Trump not only ordered “the immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border,” but he also vowed to withhold funding for sanctuary cities. In the days ahead, he will provide more details on his plan to shutdown immigration from seven Muslim countries tied to terrorism.
Trump also announced plans to hire 5,000 more border patrol agents, triple the number of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and end the “catch and release” policies for illegal immigrants.
All of these actions are important to the millions of Americans who have been demanding action for many years. Regarding the wall, the United States will pay for the construction initially and use our leverage to force Mexico to reimburse us for the cost, estimated at between $12 and $15 billion.
One idea that was proposed this week is for the United States to institute a 20% border tax on Mexican imports; however, there are plenty of other potential funding mechanisms.
Along with the many economic and crime-fighting benefits that will result from a secure border, there will also be enhanced homeland security against the threat of terrorism. A wide open border is an invitation for enemies of the United States to launch terror attacks within our borders.
For all of these reasons and more, a border wall is vital for the security and economic prosperity of the United States. Congratulations to President Trump for following through on his campaign promise and keeping the pressure on Mexico to work with us to secure the border. As the President tweeted on Friday, “Mexico has taken advantage of the US for long enough.”
Thank goodness, real change is finally here and not a moment too soon.