We support border security, but not wall (Sen. Tom Carper et al.)
This is the longest government shutdown in this nation’s history. It unnecessarily “puts our economy at risk, jeopardizes national security and ceases critical government programs on which millions rely.”
Last month, “congressional leaders, from both chambers and parties came to a bipartisan agreement that would provide $1.3 billion for border security – giving law enforcement better tools and technology to keep us safe. But instead of declaring a bipartisan victory, the president dismissed the deal in favor of an ‘all-or-nothing’ demand to fund a concrete border wall.” Hardly a 21st Century solution, back to “the best wisdom of medieval times.”
“Let’s be clear: Every member of Congress – Democrats and Republican alike – wants to ensure that our borders are secure. This is not a partisan issue. We should be listening to our Customs and Border Protection officers on the ground who, for years, have called for more trained customs officers at our ports of entry, along with smart investments in technologies like radar, sensors and tunnel detection.”
The president is demanding $5.6 billion for his wall right now, but that amount – for “a wall spanning the southwestern border from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico” – would “merely be a down payment.” DHS estimates such a wall could cost $21.6 billion, not including maintenance or yearly operations. Outside wall cost estimates are “closer to $70 billion.” That’s a pretty big bill for American taxpayers.
A recent study (by Cato, a “conservative thinktank”) notes that 2/3 of the land along the border doesn’t even belong to the federal government, so the project could be tied up for years by court battles and land disputes. More cost, more delay, and “the majority of Americans” have indicated “they do not want a 2,000-mile wall.” By failing to be reasonable, the president is “jeopardizing the financial security of Delaware families.”
“It is our sincere hope that President Trump will come to the table and work with Democrats” to reopen the government. Then, “we can begin a meaningful debate on immigration.”
Comments: (1) The administration is not proposing a 2,000 mile concrete wall along the southern border, or anything approximating it. (2) Many members of Congress are not working to support border security. (3) The president has repeatedly expressed his eagerness to settle this matter. A SAFE letter to the editor was published on 1/18/19.