Joe Biden and that ‘great and beautiful wall’ on our southern border

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By Bill Juneau, October 22, 2023

Back in 2016 when there were 18 GOP candidates vying to become America’s next President to succeed Barack Obama, one of them was the billionaire, mouthy, real estate mogul from New York, Donald J. Trump. His presence as a contender drew criticism and fire and the media wanted to know, “who did he think he was — running for President…..he never held an office and he lacked the political skills which the high office demanded.”

Outlining his credentials for the Presidency, Trump said: I will build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border — and immigrants and visitors will be welcome — but they “must come in legally.”

The wall, he said, while responding to jeers from other Republican candidates during debates and from a host of Trump haters, would be tall and steel-strong and would keep out dangerous thugs and assorted miscreants coming to America by way of the border with Mexico with pockets filled with fentanyl and other illegal drugs. No one is vetted and as a result, young and old Americans are dying from overdoses.

‘Not another foot’? Team Biden has quietly filled in several gaps in the wall at the U.S. southern border.

And, he added, that he would see to it that Mexico paid for the structure, since it was Mexico with its coyotes and cartels which were promoting the problem and the discord which has made the barrier essential and which has been causing chaos in the USA.

The wall became an all around controversial issue with millions applauding Trump for a good thing, and others claiming it was raw racism because of hate for Muslims and African Americans.

Pope Francis injected himself into the fray and said that Trump “is not Christian” if he pledges to build a border wall between the USA and Mexico. A Trump spokesman reminded the pontiff that the Vatican is surrounded by massive walls, and America and its citizens are, like his eminence, entitled to be safe in their home from criminals. Nancy Pelosi said that the wall was “immoral,” but conservative Christians and Catholics called her a hypocrite, noting her strong support for abortions at “any time” and for “any reason.”

It was a surprise to the nation — and perhaps to the world — when Trump was elected the nation’s 45th President in 2016, defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton who was to be the nation’s first woman President. Trump called her “Crooked Hillary” and said her election would be a big mistake given her corrupt ways. He took office in January, 2017 and thereon put forth an “America First” agenda, and a Trump way of governing. And he never forgot his promise to build a “great and beautiful wall,” and his search for the funds began immediately.

President Trump was beset from many areas with allegations that he was in the pocket of Russian President Putin, but subsequently he was cleared and the charges were found to be untrue and based upon political lies fostered by Democratic opposition.

But through it all he fought for construction of the wall and for the necessary funds to get the job done, and prior to his leaving office in January, 2021, some 458 miles of the needed structure were completed. Some of the wall was brand new and in other places the wall represented a redo and upgrade of ineffective border fences and barriers which had been constructed and installed in past years.

On Jan. 20, of 2021 Trump turned the Presidency over to Joe Biden, and he presented him a country with a nearly finished wall and with immigration under control and with policies which encouraged immigrants to come to America in accord with existing law.

Did Mexico pay for the wall? Under Trump orders, new and heavy tariffs were paid to the USA by Mexico, and Trump has said that the additional revenues were deposited in the treasury; and the additional money found its way to the wall through appropriations. Also, said Trump, through his insistence, Mexico assigned and paid a battery of national officers along the border to discourage illegal entries into the United States.

At the end of his four year term as President, the “Trump” wall with its 18 to 30-foot steel bollards anchored in concrete in many sections, was completed save a far south 20-mile section of border in the Rio Grande valley of Texas.

On Jan. 20, of 2021 Trump turned the Presidency over to Joe Biden, and he presented him a country with a nearly finished wall and with immigration under control and with policies which encouraged immigrants to come to America in accord with existing law. Immigration was still a problem, but was controlled and it was anticipated that Congress would consider new immigration reform.

On his first day in office as the nation’s 46th President, Joe Biden declared that wall building was over and that “not one more foot of a wall” would be built under his administration. “Is a wall helpful in controlling lawless border crossings,” he was asked. “No,” said the slow moving American president whose mental acuity has been challenged with demands from many members of Congress that he take a cognitive exam to determine if he has the wits to serve as President. Biden has ignored the requests.

Biden announced that America was the land of the free and he messaged to the world that immigrants were welcome, because “that is who we are.” “Com’on in” he shouted and the world heard him and they poured on in — by the millions. They waded across the Rio Grande and slipped in from behind bushes. They were ushered to the borders by Mexican cartels and coyotes charging money. They came from scores of different countries including Iran and other parts of the Middle East; Europe and Taliban-run Afghanistan; and from various other countries in Asia and Africa.

No one knows for sure just how many illegal aliens have poured into the United States over the past 32 months under the feckless leadership of Joe Biden. The number, depending upon who you listen to, seems to be somewhere between 2,000,000 and 6,000,000 illegal entries. The numbers are staggering, greater than at any time in U.S. history.

Some have commented, that the new residents could fill up four new states. They noted that in Delaware, President Biden’s home state, there are about 1,000,000 residents. Wyoming has a population of 579,000 and Vermont has 645,000 residents. North and South Dakota, together, are home to about 1.6 million persons. Alaska has 732,673 residents.

In the past six months, it has been reported, hundreds of thousands have used the unfinished 20 miles of border in the Texas Rio Grande valley to come into the United States. Virtually none have been interviewed or vetted, and apparently they have gone to destinations in large urban cities like New York and Chicago.

One analyst has speculated that if the trend continues unchanged through the 2024, a total of 12 million immigrants will have entered America illegally and the cost of their care and sheltering will approach $12 trillion dollars.

In early October of 2023, President Biden finally reacted to the humanitarian crisis at the southern border and declared that he would direct that the final 20-mile segment of the Trump wall be finished in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. It was a full U-turn on his declaration that “not another foot of Trump wall” would be built under his administration.

His explanation was that he had no other choice since millions of dollars had been appropriated in 2019 for the wall and that his hands are tied. “”I tried to get them to re-appropriate it and to redirect that money. They didn’t. They wouldn’t. And in the meantime, there’s nothing under the law, that allows for use of the money for something other than that for which it was appropriated, and that was the wall.” So, says the whispering and embarrassed Biden — the “Trump wall” will be completed after all.”

Then in his talk a few days ago, Biden said that he is has sent an urgent funding request to Congress for another $14 billion for use managing the U.S.-Mexico border and for fighting the Fentanyl drug smuggling which has, in the past two years, taken the lives of an estimated 141,000 Americans.

So perhaps Biden is learning that open borders and telling the world to “com’on in” was not such a a good political move — and that he is going to have to do something to hold back the surge of migrants into New York, Chicago and other major urban cities; or he can wave good by to blue state supporters.

Bill Juneau worked for 25 years as a reporter and night city editor at the Chicago Tribune. Subsequently he became a partner in a law firm and also served as a village prosecutor and as a consultant to the Cook County Circuit Court and to the Cook County Medical Examiner. He is currently writing columns and the ‘Florida Bill‘ blog.

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