On 1/31, Customs and Border Officers seized the largest attempted delivery of illegal drugs entering US at a legal port of entry with the help of drug dogs. Estimated 80% to 90% of various illegal drugs arrive at legal ports of entry, ports severely understaffed, about 1 in 5 vehicles and shipping containers are presently checked. The number of border crossings apprehensions have been mostly declining since mid-2000, hitting lows in 2012 and recently.

US Congress voted for 700 miles of barriers in 2006 in the most vulnerable areas and still had problems. Democrats reluctantly approved, but said border barriers would not solve problems of drugs or illegals. Physical barriers need constant, costly repairs and monitoring. Today additional barriers face problems, like cutting through US citizens’ properties, negatively affecting citizen’s income. Trump had 2 years with Republican controlled Congress to get his wall funding and couldn’t get Republican agreement. Democrats emphasize increased border security with new low-cost technical methods, drones, cameras, drug dogs, and more agents staffing legal ports of entry. Also using modern technology for other areas, including where border barriers are now. Examples of failed physical barriers are numerous unless extra ordinary and brutal measures are taken. Nazi wired barriers. Soviet’s Berlin Wall.  Barriers along Hungarian and Czechoslovakian borders. Morocco on occupied Western Sahara. Israel’s borders against Palestinians. All didn’t completely keep desperate people from escaping or from fighting back. Trump acknowledged that determined people can use ladders and with a rope descend over the wall or dig tunnels under the wall. In December, Mexican authorities discovered 3 tunnels under border walls.  

Trump inherited a 6.5 year growing economy. During recessions (which Obama inherited), government deficit spends to turn the economy around. But in a growing economy, national debt should be reduced. The last 18 months of Obama, job creation was the same as the first 18 months of Trump. Two years into Trump’s administration, debt has grown $2 Trillion to $21.6 Trillion. Most of this debt is from Corporation and top 1% tax cuts. Additional economic growth rate under Trump is government spending on military-related equipment. Trump wants $5.7 Billion of taxpayer funds, and probably more later, for an ineffective, costly, and outdated idea of border security. What needed US programs will be cut? Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc? Programs Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recommended for cuts to pay for Trump’s tax cuts and the wall.

Cheryl Moskal

(previous area resident)

Denver, CO

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