Saturday, February 24 , 2018, 10:56 pm | Fair 49º


Letter to the Editor: Donald Trump’s Wall is Full of Holes

Donald Trump recently gave  the Washington Post some details about his plan to build a wall  along the Mexican border and force Mexico to pay for it. His goal would be to seal the border and stop illegal immigration.

As with many of his half-baked ideas, Trump's plan is full of holes and would not solve the problem. The wall would not affect the estimated forty percent of  unauthorized immigrants in the US who don't come from our southern border but  on airplanes and overstay their permits or visas. Trump does not talk about these individuals because it does not fit his narrative of simple scenarios and even simpler solutions. In his simplistic  world, you use basic and easy to understand problems and solutions which get you the support of ill-informed and angry American voters.

More than forty-five million visitors enter the US on a yearly basis with temporary tourist of other visas. Ninety-nine percent  of them leave the country before their visas expire. However, about 500 thousand overstay their visa and somehow blend into American society.

The vast majority of those who overstay their visas come from neighboring countries but also from distant ones, particularly Western Europe. The five top countries in this regard are Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, and Italy. By the end of 2015 more than 90.000 Canadians were in the US without proper documents.

Coming to the US for many Europeans and Canadians can be easy. Mexican nationals, on the other hand, need to demonstrate to US consular offices that they are well-off and have strong economic ties to their country, which would imply a good likelihood that they will not overstay their visa.

Trump's "beautiful" wall would not stop these individuals from coming into the US and possibly stay. If security is the concern, better screening about these individuals should take place. The individuals responsible for 9/11 came into the US with legal documents. A wall would not have prevented the tragedy in San Bernardino since both perpetrators had a legal right to be in the country.

So even if Trump were to build his wall it would not make us secure since those coming into the country from Mexico do so because they are looking for work. Trump boasts that he will build the wall and he'll make the Mexican government pay for it. Should Mexico refuse to pay, Trump would stop remittances  Mexican nationals send their family members.

Economists believe that freezing these funds would be nearly impossible. In addition, if these funds failed to reach families in Mexico, the country would suffer severe economic problems which would push more of them into coming to the US.

As with many other issues, Trump is totally ill-informed and appears to be unaware of repercussions. His recent suggestion that Japan and South Korea should pay for their own defense by obtaining nuclear weapons  is a case in point since it missed totally the  dangers posed by nuclear proliferation.

In the case of his wall, Trump completely misunderstands relations with countries which are not the same as those he is accustomed to in the business world where he could throw money around and buy politicians to obtain favors. International relations require cooperation and diplomacy to achieve mutually beneficial agreements. Building a wall would  do the opposite since it would deteriorate relations with Mexico. Fortunately, it will not happen. Although Trump may win the GOP nomination, his defeat in November is almost certain. That's the biggest hole in his "beautiful" wall.

Domenico Maceri
​San Luis Obispo

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >