A lot of discussion yesterday and today about the ‘wall.’ As I’ve argued before, it’s a non-actionable idea, that’s really meant as a larger statement about immigration. A statement rooted in the notion that its easier to demolish something rather than build it, and that largely says: “rather than discuss the root of an issue, let’s spend billions of dollars creating a surface fix that actually makes the problem worse, that will have to inevitably be fixed by the next administration.” Or, in other words, the mantra of Trump’s Presidency (*see abortion, education, healthcare, Chicago gun violence, etc.), and perhaps the new foundation of the Republican Party.
Furthermore, whether or not the US government decides to, in essence, extort the Mexican government into paying for all or some of this nonsense by threatening them with sanctions, etc., and in further essence sinking our own economy whilst destroying Mexico’s (cause that won’t lead to further immigration issues), is still to be seen.
For practical reasons, then, here’s some fun discussions about the logistics of this whole thing, for anyone interested, from experts who aren’t me.
Here’s a practical description of what building the wall might require and actually cost from an engineer who works with concrete construction:
Here’s some lively and slightly humorous takes on the whole thing in convenient youtube formats:
Now, there’s likely to be a decent political discussion here about how something like a wall might fix certain issues pertaining to immigration, such as, hey it seems to work for our pal Israel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_West_Bank_barrier), or, hey, who cares if people can just climb over it, or tunnel underneath it, or go around it, or simply blow it up (which the cartels would NEVER do), it might just work. Or, you know, maybe instead of just putting up a giant metaphor we could invest that useful money into benefitting, further training, supporting, and boosting practical relations between our border agencies, like the border patrol, who might have some expert opinions on the matter.
I mean, giant metaphors are great, sure. But, anyone who’s ever done any DIY project knows that not only do construction costs tend to always go beyond budgets, the real hard work comes after the fun of demolition. It’s just too bad the construction we’ve chosen to do is metaphorical, rather than practical.