Trump is right: Walls work on the southern border

Trump is right: Walls work on the southern border
© Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiOn The Money: Trump teases 'major announcement' Saturday on shutdown | Fight with Dems intensifies | Pelosi accuses Trump of leaking trip to Afghanistan | Mnuchin refuses to testify on shutdown impacts Ellen DeGeneres buys cheesecakes from furloughed federal workers who were baking to make ends meet Trump teases 'major announcement' about shutdown on Saturday MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump blasts Pelosi for wanting to leave country during shutdown The Senate should host the State of the Union Dem senators debate whether to retweet Cardi B video criticizing Trump over shutdown MORE (D-NY) contend the crisis on the U.S. southern border is manufactured.

Yet, The Washington Post, no friend to the Trump Administration, disagrees. According to the Post, the situation on the southern border is indeed “a bona fide emergency.”

Record numbers of migrant families are coming to the United States, the U.S. immigration courts have a backlog in excess of 800,000 cases and the holding cells and detention centers are at overflow capacity.

Add in the fact that scores of Americans are killed by illegal immigrants every month, the tremendous strain illegal aliens place on the nation’s social welfare system, not to mention the human trafficking, drugs and crime burdening American citizens.

Still crickets from the left.

ADVERTISEMENT

When we do hear from Democrats, it is because they are expressing outrage over the Border Patrol taking non-lethal countermeasures to protect themselves from a migrant caravan bum rushing the border; a level of contempt we didn’t see from Democrats when former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaPompeo’s retreat into chaos Barack Obama wishes Michelle a happy birthday: 'You’re one of a kind' NY Times prints special section featuring women of the 116th Congress MORE was faced with a nearly identical situation and dealt with it in a similar fashion a few years earlier.

Luckily for the White House, Americans by and large are not buying what Congressional Democrats are selling when it comes to the southern border. They want strong border security. A recent survey from Morning Consult shows that 79 percent of registered voters see the situation at the southern border as a “crisis” or “problem.”

So what specifically makes this current southern border crisis different than the ones faced by President George W. Bush or Barack Obama? It is not so much the raw number of aliens crossing illegally, but the “make up of the flow” that is different. More migrants hail from Central America, more are coming in family units, and there are more unaccompanied minors. This shift in composition of illegal immigrant groups is key to understanding how our current asylum laws combined with various other immigration loopholes and defects allow them to specifically game the system in a way that unaccompanied adult Mexican nationals, who previously comprised the majority of illegal immigrants, cannot. In other words, once these folks (Central American migrants, family units and minors) arrive and set foot on U.S. soil, they are next to impossible to remove. This is why the Trump administration has gone to great lengths to broker a deal with Mexico to serve as a staging area for Central American migrants until their asylum claims are processed.

But until Congress has the will to change the asylum laws and to fix the other legal loopholes and defects, it would be foolish not to better secure the southern border in the meantime.

Speaker Pelosi will tell you a wall is “immoral,” and both Schumer and Pelosi will tell you they are “ineffective.”

Of course what Pelosi and Schumer won’t tell you is that the U.S. currently has more than 650 miles of physical barriers and fencing on its southern border. They also won’t tell you that several prominent Democrats including Schumer, Obama, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump knocks BuzzFeed over Cohen report, points to Russia dossier DNC says it was targeted by Russian hackers after fall midterms Special counsel issues rare statement disputing explosive Cohen report MORE and Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenKamala Harris picks Baltimore as headquarters for potential 2020 campaign: report Congress should elevate those trapped in the gap – support ELEVATE Act Sen. Casey says he won't run for president in 2020 MORE voted for it as senators in the name of better border security.

Playing asinine semantics of what constitutes a wall and claiming that physical barriers on the southern border are “ineffective” are among the most intellectually dishonest statements in recent political memory, particularly when the data suggests just the opposite.

ADVERTISEMENT

Of course nothing is impenetrable or foolproof, but the fencing in Yuma, Arizona, is a great example of what works. Since its construction in 2005, it has yielded better than a 90 percent drop in illegal traffic. Similar numbers have been registered at other physical barriers in San Diego, El Paso, Texas, and Tucson, Arizona, since their construction.

Even former Obama Border Patrol chief Mark Morgan, who was removed by Trump, concedes that physical barriers work and that more need to be constructed to make the southern border stronger.

Contrary to the media hype, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump knocks BuzzFeed over Cohen report, points to Russia dossier DNC says it was targeted by Russian hackers after fall midterms BuzzFeed stands by Cohen report: Mueller should 'make clear what he's disputing' MORE is not advocating that one continuous wall should be built on the nearly two-thousand mile U.S. southern border, but that the current barriers be extended by a few hundred more miles. He is also asking for more immigration judges, law enforcement officers, detention beds and additional border technology, among other items — common sense stuff when it comes to stronger border security.

If the Democrats were to come to the table right now and talk comprehensive immigration reform and DACA, so long as it contains additional physical barriers along the southern border, the White House has signaled a willingness to move forward on that front, provided that it enhances border security.

The White House is ready to deal. And even though federal government workers will eventually receive back pay, the White House doesn’t want to see them suffer. The questions for congressional Democrats are simple: Do they really hate President Trump more than they love border security? Do they care more about illegal immigrants than American citizens? Only time will tell.

Ford O'Connell served as director of rural outreach for John McCainJohn Sidney McCainOvernight Defense: Trump unveils new missile defense plan | Dems express alarm | Shutdown hits Day 27 | Trump cancels Pelosi foreign trip | Senators offer bill to prevent NATO withdrawal Bipartisan senators reintroduce bill to prevent Trump from withdrawing from NATO Mark Kelly considering Senate bid as Arizona Dems circle McSally MORE’s 2008 presidential campaign; he runs a political consulting business, is an adjunct professor at The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management, and is a regular commentator on FOX Business. He has also appeared on CNN. Follow him on Twitter @FordOConnell.