Friday, January 4, 2019

Do we need that Wall? Probably so, in many areas

OK, Tucker Carlson interviews Mike Pence, who insists there must be a wall.

There is a transcript with the YouTube video of the interview. 

Let’s now present the other side. The Washington Post analyzed Trump’s tweets on Jan. 1, here   Most salient points: more illegal aliens are here with overstayed visas than illegal entry. True.

 People can tunnel under walls to transport drugs. True.  You need other enforcement.

I’ve even tweeted “Economic Invincibility” to ask if he’ll do a video analyzing all of this – because quite a few people in the negotiations know him (especially on the Trump side).

My own take.  I’m familiar with arguments (Vox) that say that walls aren’t needed in all the rural areas (may be very difficult to build like in the Big Bend, for example). 

I lived in Texas in the 1980s.  I’ve driven in the border areas.  I’ve hiked and backpacked at least once.  In 1979 I crossed with a rental car when it was easy. 

Ranchers in the area say they leave out water for stragglers on their properties.  So negotiators should talk to the ranchers.

But it’s “manifestly observable” that it’s pretty easy to cross the river and come into the country in many areas.  You do need a physical wall, or high transparent fence with mesh on top, in many areas.
Democrats are silly when they say “walls are not who we are.”  We do need them in many areas.  It is now more likely that large caravans would try to cross in areas they know have no protection.
But the idea that Mexico would pay for it was, well, dumb.  

One person to ask about this is Taylor Wilson at the University of Nevada.  I know he has worked on high-tech border security and inspections of cargo. 

Update: Jan. 14 

There are small border towns where people have houses and yards right on the Rio Grande with no wall or barrier.  Homeowners say there is no crime, but they do see migrants swim across the river sometimes and traverse property.  Despite what they say, this could be a real security problem.  Eminent domain might mean purchasing the land and having to pay for new homes to be built on land some distance, like a mile or more, from the border, off the river.  Katie Zazema et al have a Washington Post article Jan. 10. 

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