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Sun Jun 12, 2016, 09:10 AM

Donald Trump's wall

Here's an interesting little article about the wall Donald Trump has said he'll build along the US-Mexican border:


As with everything else that Mr. Trump has proposed, he's never provided any thoughtful details about his project. According to the article, the "Safe Fence Act" that was begun during the George W. Bush Administration was estimated to cost about $3 million per mile. A wall is more expensive to build than a fence and the Bush Administration estimate was too low for their project.

So here's a simple thought experiment. The US/Mexican border is just under 2,000 miles long. If the wall were budgeted at a conservative $5 million per mile, that's $10 billion. Mr. Trump has claimed that Mexico will pay for the wall without explaining how. If they won't, how will the US pay for it?

This is just a dumb and impossible endeavor. Aside from the economics involved, the terrain and access are extremely difficult in many places along the border making this a logistical nightmare. Additionally, much of the property the wall would occupy is privately owned which would require legal proceedings to obtain or access that land.

Mr. Trump's other ideas are equally idiotic. For example, he has said that he'll deport 11 million illegal immigrants within 18 months of his inauguration. A simple outline of the logistics involved demonstrate the massive scale- and impossibility- of such a plan.

- First you have to have a tremendously large police force to identify, find and take into custody 11 million people. I live in New York City which has a population of 8.4 million. Image trying to round them all up! Throw in the state of Connecticut next door with it's 3.6 million and that's the scale he's talking about. It's a completely unserious proposal.

- Second, you have to have a place to hold them in custody. (Please don't mention Godwin's Law; this is only for comparison of scale.) The Nazis rounded up roughly 8-10 million people over a period of about 6 years. Where is Mr. Trump going to keep all of these people? Plus, the detainees have to be housed, clothed and fed as well as provided with medical care. Sounds impractical and very expensive to me.

- Third, if we still have the rule of law, then Mr. Trump has to have an immigration court hearing for each person. That means there have to be judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys for each individual as well as court officials, transportation, etc. If you think our courts are congested now, just imagine what would happen under Mr. Trump's plan.

- Fourth, if all goes according to Mr. Trump's idea, then the detainees have to be sent back to their home countries. Commercial airlines fly about 8 million passengers a day. Using rounded numbers, if you airlift 11 million people in 18 months, you've added about 25,000 passengers to that daily tally. Of course, they will be prisoners which means you have to add police escorts for them so you're doubling the number of passengers to an additional 50,000 per day. Aside from the additional volume of passengers (aren't many of our airports already over-crowded?), where is the money to pay for all that travel going to come from?

- Fifth, the whole thing is probably unconstitutional.

Donald Trump is the least serious person who has ever run for president and that includes the honorable Pat Paulsen.

The Republicans own their nominee. But I'll add this: at least Donald Trump has ideas, however impractical they may be. The Republicans in Washington have nothing other than obstructionism.

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Reply Donald Trump's wall (Original post)
PJMcK Jun 2016 OP
no_hypocrisy Jun 2016 #1

Response to PJMcK (Original post)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 09:18 AM

1. Here's how it will likely play out:

1. Trump will claim that "weak" Congress won't give him the law or the money to build a "necessary" wall.
2. Trump will make a national address, instructing his supporters to harass and abuse members of the House and Senate. Tie up their lines and voicemails. Protest outside the Capitol Building.
3. Trump will suggest that vigilantism be employed to make "illegals" feel unwelcome in this country, to "encourage" them to leave. This directive scares me the most.

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