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No Need to Build The Donald's Wall. It’s Already Built


No Need to Build The Donald's Wall. It’s Already Built

Todd Miller

At the federal courthouse, Ignacio Sarabia asks the magistrate judge, Jacqueline Rateau, if he can explain why he crossed the international boundary between the two countries without authorization. He has already pleaded guilty to the federal misdemeanor commonly known as “illegal entry” and is about to receive a prison sentence. On either side of him are eight men in the same predicament, all still sunburned, all in the same ripped, soiled clothes they were wearing when arrested in the Arizona desert by agents of the U.S. Border Patrol.


We all know about Obama's failures, and they are legion (his immigrant return policy being one) but can anybody think of a single success?


What does the author (or others) suggest be done at the border (besides repealing NAFTA)? I'm not sure this question is answered by Dems, and it gives votes to conservatives, where people understand the 'wall' approach. I don't think jailing people is much of a deterrent, although it makes $ for prisons.


Mexico, America friends for ever.


What's so bad about open borders?
If you want to solve the employment issue then start levying hefty fines against corporations and individuals who employ those without papers.


Thank you, Mr. Miller for this incisive and scathing account of the U.S. border.

It's another "humanitarian" bona fide to add to the Clintons' resume!

"The first U.S. border strategy memorandum in 1994 predicted the tragic future we now have. “Illegal entrants crossing through remote, uninhabited expanses of land and sea along the border can find themselves in mortal danger,” it stated.

"Twenty years later, more than 6,000 remains have been found in the desert borderlands of the United States. Hundreds of families continue to search for disappeared loved ones. The Colibri Center for Human Rights has records for more than 2,500 missing people last seen crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. In other words, that border has become a graveyard of bones and sadness."

And as to this, the same wall that keeps out also keeps in:

"The twenty-first-century border is no longer just about walls; it’s about biometrics and drones. It’s about a “layered approach to national security,” given that, as former Border Patrol Chief Mike Fisher has put it, “the international boundary is no longer the first or last line of defense, but one of many.” Hillary Clinton’s promise of “comprehensive immigration reform” -- to be introduced within 100 days of her entering the Oval Office -- is a much more reliable guide than Trump’s wall to our grim immigration future. If her bill follows the pattern of previous ones, as it surely will, an increasingly weaponized, privatized, high-tech, layered border regime, increasingly dangerous to future Ignacio Sarabias, will continue to be a priority of the federal government."

These fences will keep the American animals penned in if and when the shit hits the fan. (It works the same way in Gated Communities: If danger rears, the protection turns into the device that proves lethal.)


Canadians aren't trying to pour into the US, no? What should we do then, just open the borders because they are good people? I think we need to do everything we can to build up the Mexican economy by repealing NAFTA and other issues, meanwhile, it seems we need a border?


Shock Doctrine protocols merged with crony capitalism and the result is this:

"With a price tag of, on average, $4 million a mile, these border walls, barriers, and fences have proven to be one of the costliest border infrastructure projects undertaken by the United States. For private border contractors, on the other hand, it’s the gift that just keeps on giving. In 2011, for example, the DHS granted Kellogg, Brown, and Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, one of our “warrior corporations,” a $24.4 million upkeep contract."

Halliburton, again!

Mix in this and one notes that it's Dr. King's admonition come to life in the form of investments in militarism casting a nation into spiritual death:

“If the comprehensive immigration reform that Hillary Clinton pledges to introduce as president is based on the already existing bipartisan Senate package, as has been indicated, then this corporate-enforcement landscape will be significantly bolstered and reinforced. There will be 19,000 more Border Patrol agents in roving patrols throughout “border enforcement jurisdictions” that extend up to 100 miles inland. More F-150 trucks and all-terrain vehicles will rumble through and, at times, tear up the desert. There will be more Blackhawk helicopters, flying low, their propellers dusting groups of scattering migrants, many of them already lost in the vast, parched desert.

"If such a package passes the next Congress, up to $46 billion could be slated to go into more of all of this, including funding for hundreds of miles of new walls."

So, factor in all the money devoted to building walls, prosecuting people who cross them, and supporting the infrastructure of surveillance AND add in the costs of foreign wars and who doesn't see the inanity of it all?

It would be FAR cheaper to establish fair Trade Deals so that farmers wouldn't be driven from their native lands and tribes throughout the Arab world less inclined to attack one another... if food instead of bombs were placed on their tables!

But in lieu of this, the public--lied to endlessly--and the public--whose wishes are NOT respected in the halls of Congress or government (a government now effectively fused INTO the corporations) sees its tax money go into the coffers of the weapons producers, prison builders, and corporate predators and polluters.

This is not Democracy. This is Mars Rules a/k/a what life is like inside the belly of the beast: An empire that justifies its brutal acts under the aegis of Patriarchal Capitalism's cold deadly rationales.


Your post is laudable for its compassion. However, a boarder is one who lives in a home that's rented. A boundary around a region acts as its border.


Imagine there's no nations, agree. People should be able to go wherever they want. We're probably 100 generations away from that world. That world can only exist when the economic forces that cause people to migrate are mostly neutralized. Meanwhile I believe we have to have borders. We have no control of the politics of another country (not so much here, but it's more than other countries). The US labor market and the basic standard of living for US citizens would be destroyed with a wide open border where anyone can become citizens. The poverty burden would be even worse than it is now. Are you familiar with George Galloway? Famous anti-war, anti-imperialist from the UK. See him talk about his desire to support UK labor and why brexit is a good idea, and open borders bad.


The Great Wall of China, now that is a wall.


Thanks, and thanks for your kind posts!


Thanks, I'm aware of inequality issues. My point is, there is no border fence on the canadian border because the economic pressure to migrate is not there, and thus the creation of an underground labor market. Until that pressure is removed on the Mexican border, the border (and fences) should remain. Even better would be better enforcement of the underground labor market which should not be allowed. If you hire someone undocumented, you should pay a hefty fine. This is the real hypocrisy in immigration. Conservatives want the undocumented to exploit and do the work cheap, and when they can't work, go back home, and don't have kids. Meanwhile, we can do everything we can to remove that economic pressure, such as removing NAFTA, and not usurping and decimating latin and central american governments as we have in the past.


Hi Lucky 9, Agreed, good post!


I think that what is to be done is that we either have open borders for trade and for workers, or we close the borders for both. Allowing open borders for trade but not labor allows corporations to go wherever they can most exploit the labor and the land, and traps workers in those conditions. It's obviously a sweet deal for corporations, but terrible for working stiffs. What's good for the goose should be good for the gander. If trade is allowed to move freely, then allow workers to also move where jobs are best.


As a world federalist, I see borders as kinda obsolete.

Nonetheless, they are here to stay, so work with them we must. Trump's wall I think matters more as symbolism: A symbol of cultural and rhetorical hostility towards hispanics.

If he does, great. He only helps drive the hispanic vote away from the GOP.


Agree, but not closed to trade, but controlled trade, fair trade, not free trade.


The Republicans have got their fence on the border and the Democrats got concessions on immigration. And life goes on. Illegal immigration is not much of a problem anymore but you would never know it from Republican rhetoric. The Mexicans make a convenient scapegoat for Republicans as have African Americans. And now in 2016 the Republican Party seems to be turning into a actual white nationalism party led by a dishonest real estate developer who holds a long-standing grudge against the US government because it forced him to rent apartments to African Americans in Brooklyn and Queens. Just how bad can things get on the right? Where does this end?


"Illegal immigration is not much of a problem anymore" typical message from a Clinton supporter.
It's leveled off in recent years, but it's still 3X 1990 levels, 11 million currently, 5% of working population - still a problem.
And where it ends on the left? Nuclear War. Keep Clean. Vote Green.


There is no such thing as racism. There is only wealth inequality.