The Donald Trump wall, not Utopian
The 45th president of the United States, Donald John Trump, is, for many reasons, an interesting personality: his extremism-fuelling-rhetoric, explosive declamation, sneering attitude, caustic wits, harsh comments about people, etc. Apart from his eccentricities, critics have branded him a racist, cheat, liar, xenophobic (demeaning attributes which his ex-lawyer, Ambassador David Cohen, strives to impress upon the world), and of late, Donald Trump has been rumoured to be mentally deficient (a quality which the likes of Kellyanne Conway are bent on refuting, and will fiercely tout the sound mental state of the president). Hillary Clinton particularly hates Trump for his family separation policy at the Mexico border.
Since his assumption of office amidst the welter of furores that greeted the elections, which produced him, some policies he met on the ground have worn formidable, new garb. The most noticeable are the immigration policy and the ‘border system’, which have so far seen many heads roll.
No hairs should be split over the forces behind the enormous power being wielded by President Donald Trump.
As far as anyone can tell, the president is merely operating from the ideology set up by the Founding Fathers of the US. This set of ideas, coupled with the US slogans gave impetus to his 2016 campaigns.
Trump made massive deportation of immigrants and building of wall his rallying cries during his campaigns across major US cities, because according to the executive order he signed, the wall is meant to keep at bay illegal immigrants, drug and human trafficking, and terrorism.
The president is ineluctably obsessed with building a wall at the US/Mexico border at all cost in order to check illegal influxes of the ‘bad ones’ into the US.
As a powerful president of the US, Donald Trump feels obliged to reciprocate the goodwill of the teeming American people who saw him to power.
His mission is clear: immigration, employment opportunity, security, economy, and healthcare delivery must be kept stronger, and the life of a single American – white, black or brown – means much to him.
However, Trump’s 5.7 billion dollars request has met stiff opposition from the Democrats in the White House and elicited criticism from people around the globe.
A Professor Emeritus, Michael Dear, for instance, takes a dim view of the success of the project when he declares thus: ‘The reality is that a wall, no matter how ‘big’, how ‘beautiful’ and how ‘ahead of schedule’ Trump builds it, cannot be an effective enforcement tool.’
He further claims that ‘The immigration system is plagued with problems and factors that building a wall cannot fix. It might just end up making some of them worse.’
Indeed Michael Dear goes ahead to list five things that make the Trump wall castles in the air. The wall will not work because there are many undocumented immigrants already residing in the US. Secondly, cartels can always outwit checkpoints.
Thirdly, terrorists are not undocumented. Then, there is the economy factor. And lastly, Dear says that immigration courts are already overwhelmed.
The Democrats see the project as a white elephant poised to swallow taxpayers’ money and would rather Trump channelled the huge sum into the health sector and bought tools and equipment for Immigration Department. Their initial uncompromising stance irked the president who decided to play his trump card and swing surprises that nudged many a federal worker.
Questioning eyebrows need not be raised therefore, to see many Democrats ready to stop Donald Trump from being re-elected next year. Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar are some of the women who have thrown their hat into the ring for the 2020 presidential race.
While there still seems to be wind of dissatisfaction howling in the White House as some issues are not yet unravelled, the Democrats will do well to give the president their support and find some common ground. The president has to build his wall – be it of concrete or of Pennsylvania steel; one thousand miles or two – because the number of undocumented immigrants entering the US from Mexico has hit an all-time high in thirteen years, and this bothers the president.
It is time all Americans reviewed their stance and supported Donald Trump now that the shutdown is revoked and federal workers are back from furlough. The possibility of invoking another shutdown by the president if the House does not meet his demand is however, not ruled out.
Good fencing makes good neighbours. The US needs good fencing in order to maintain robust relationship with the outside world. The country has been jealously guarded enough by successive administrations for it to be habitable.
Drink-driving, child abuse, over-speeding, bribery and corruption, sexual assault, hate speech, et cetera are treated with seriousness in the law courts. No matter the level of severe criticism the Trump wall has generated, President Donald Trump wins my plaudits because I know that the project he has embarked upon is not a utopian one: it is for the benefit of the US and its people; it is for the good of Mexico and other contiguous nations; and by extension, it is to the advantage of the whole world.
Whether the wall is a waste of taxpayers’ money or not, President Donald Trump means well for the US. Whether desperate immigrants from Tijuana will still jump the wall or enter San Diego in California through a canal or not, the president is out to save the US from disintegration.
Whether illegal immigrants from Russia will penetrate Arizona or Rio Grande Valley in Texas or not, President Trump is wholeheartedly committed to building robust security and keeping Department of Homeland Security away from terrorists.
Whether Nigerians who got to Tripoli wrongly from Aghezi will arrive in the US through Italy or Spain, the Trump wall is not a utopian scheme. Landowners whose property are under threat in Hidalgo and Starr Counties in Rio Grande Valley should not press charges against the US government for patriotism’s sake.
• Sola writes from the Department of English Studies, University of Port Harcourt.