“I’ll build a big, beautiful wall … and Mexico is going to pay for it!”
I’m sure you remember when Donald John Trump Sr. made that proclamation. If you missed it the first, or even the second or third times, well, he kept saying all along the trail he followed right into the White House.
Mexico will foot the bill for a wall that the president of the United States wants to build. Check. Got it. Done deal.
Except that Mexico will do no such thing. Just ask them. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has made as clear as he possibly can make it: In no way, in no fashion, is Mexico going to spend a single peso to pay for the wall.
What does Trump do now? Why, he turns to us — to you and me. We’re going to pay for it, he declares with a bravado equal to what he displayed while making that foolish campaign-trail pledge.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders keeps muttering that tiresome — and mostly false — contention that Trump “got elected” on the promise to build the wall. Wrong, young lady! He got elected by declaring that Mexico was going to pay for it.
The wall now is being used as a piece of political bait. The president is threatening to shut down the government if Congress refuses his demand for money — coming from our pockets, remember — to erect that 2,000-mile wall. Congressional leaders, though, have been burned before by attempts to shut down the government. They’ve done so in the past and have paid a price politically for it.
Trump has no direct knowledge of the political pain that comes with making stupid promises that he cannot keep.
I am all for increased border security. If we’re going to do more to deter illegal immigrants, then invest in better surveillance monitoring techniques; hire more Border Patrol officers and put them on duty along our southern frontier. I get that those who enter the country illegally are, by definition, lawbreakers.
Here’s another notion: How about enacting some comprehensive immigration reform legislation that makes it easier for those who want to come here in search of opportunity to do so legally?
But to build a wall? And then force a neighboring sovereign state to pony up the cash to pay for it? That was never in play. To now force U.S. taxpayers to carry that burden has become just another broken campaign promise.