A wall is a wall is a wall.
President Donald Trump has been pretty consistent about that since he began campaigning for the White House. He has vacillated at times on the material to be used in its construction, but the fervor of his base and the jabs of Fox News commentators keep Trump wedded to a big, beautiful, physically imposing barrier to stop immigrants from crossing our Southern border.
So the federal government continues to be shut down over Trump’s insistence on many billions to fund his wall.
But it’s been apparent for a while that the wall Trump promised will not be built. And certainly, Mexico ain’t spending a dime on it.
Most Americans, including many Republicans, don’t want it. Democrats will never sign off on it, and they now control the House. And the border can be better protected for less money by spending more on drones and cameras and by hiring more border agents and judges to quickly adjudicate immigration and asylum claims.
If Trump is interested in making a deal, he will find out that Democrats in the House as well as Republicans in the Senate share his concern for a more secure border. That can be accomplished without constructing a wall, and Trump will have to acknowledge it. And Congress and the administration must open an official investigation into the recent deaths of two Guatemalan children in U.S. custody. What we don’t need in 2019 are any more remarks of the kind delivered recently by Rep. Peter King, who tried to minimize those tragedies by comparing them with the deaths of children in NYC housing projects. That was cheap and insensitive; we expect more of him.
We also expect everyone involved in the political posturing fueling this stalemate to recognize that the border never will be as secure as it could be without truly comprehensive immigration reform to bring some sanity and fairness to a troubled and broken process. Also needed: more investments in troubled Central American nations to end the violence there and create more economic opportunity.
Trump’s back is to the wall, and he won’t move the nation forward by blaming anyone else.