Don’t build that wall!

Donald J. Trump keeps harping on the need to build a wall that he wants to stretch along our nation’s southern border.

How many times must opponents of that idea say it? Don’t build the wall! Don’t appropriate the money to build it! Don’t pressure Mexico to pay for it!

The president wants Congress to appropriate $18 billion for the next five years to get started on the wall.

Do not go there!

Am I advocating a totally open border? No. I am totally in favor of increased border security. The use of drone aircraft is OK with me. Providing more Border Patrol officers is a good thing, too. Deploying more electronic surveillance equipment to stop illegal immigrants is fine as well.

The country needs to secure its borders, north and south — and east and west!

The idea, though, of erecting a wall along our border is bad symbolically. The notion runs directly counter to the national creed of being a welcoming place. Does that mean we allow anyone who wants in just to walk in without proper credential? No!

I do support the president’s concern about bad guys finding their way into the United States. His concern over criminals entering this country has not been a point of contention with me.

What has troubled me is the president’s approach to dealing with that concern. A wall won’t keep bad guys out. And that nutty boast about “getting Mexico to pay that wall” makes no sense. One sovereign nation cannot order another sovereign nation to spend a dime.

If we have a problem with illegal immigration, it is our problem to solve. A wall is not a solution I want to subsidize. However, I am willing to support a comprehensive approach to solving this dilemma.

That should include a far-reaching reform of our nation’s immigration policy. Yes, more security should be an option, but we can provide it without walling off the United Stats from our hemispheric neighbors.

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