Trump requests from Congress $18 billion for his wall

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Over the next decade American citizens will pay with their taxes $18 billion (plus $14 billion for new border technology, more access roads and additional personnel and training). Trump has said he may need a good government shutdown to get his wall and keeps claiming Mexico will pay for it (eventually).

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/06/donald-trump-mexico-border-wall-funding

http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/05/politics/border-security-billions-trump-wall/index.html

http://montrealgazette.com/news/world/the-trump-administration-wants-18-billion-to-begin-its-mexico-border-wall/wcm/f3049a62-8021-4710-92bc-8e3b51336acd

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/367754-trump-reiterates-mexico-will-pay-for-the-wall-after-18b-request-to

https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-administration-seeks-18-billion-over-decade-to-expand-border-wall-1515148381

...and many more sources.

I can't tell what Trump hates the most: immigration or America's financial well-being.

Don't forget that it's going to have solar panels on it and be made of special see-through concrete so that you don't risk getting walloped by any drug bags thrown over it. Trump is going back to the only thing he's ever been good at: being a huckster.

CaitSeith:

I can't tell what Trump hates the most: immigration or America's financial well-being.

Why would Mexicans illegally cross the border to the US if the financial situation in the US is worse then in Mexico? Trump has it all figured out because he's, like, really smart.

On the bright side, it's a flash in the pan compared to the tax plans. And if you do it right, in a couple of thousand years you have a tourist attraction. Always playing the long game...

Does this guy not realize that planes are a thing? That boats are a thing? That elaborate systems of tunnels that go deep under the border, are a thing?

In 2017, 294 died on the land border of the southern US. 303,916 people were apprehended (Or some of them were apprehended multiple times, and the actual figure is lower, however, I doubt it was one guy 303916 times.) and over 6,100 tonnes of cocaine was seized.

There are over 16,000 border agents on the Southern border.

The annual budget for the border control agency is over $13Billion, and the vast majority of it, goes to the south.

It is patently obvious that something must be done about this issue in order to reduce cost, stop deaths and reduce the amount of cocaine flowing in the US.

Is "THE WALL" the best plan for this? Probably not.

However, it's fair to say it's better than nothing. And until anyone else has some serious suggestions, I can't say I'm against it.

The Lunatic:
In 2017, 294 on the land border of the southern US. 303,916 people were apprehended (Or some of them were apprehended multiple times, and the actual figure is lower, however, I doubt it was one guy 303916 times.) and over 6,100 tonnes of cocaine was seized.

There are over 16,000 border agents on the Southern border.

The annual budget for the border control agency is over $13Billion, and the vast majority of it, goes to the south.

It is patently obvious that something must be done about this issue in order to reduce cost, stop deaths and reduce the amount of cocaine flowing in the US.

Is "THE WALL" the best plan for this? Probably not.

However, it's fair to say it's better than nothing. And until anyone else has some serious suggestions, I can't say I'm against it.

There's a pretty strong historical precedent that walls don't really work.

Is it "better than nothing" when it costs more than the annual total budget for border control and won't amount to anything more than security theater?

NemotheElvenPanda:
There's a pretty strong historical precedent that walls don't really work.

Then what do you suggest?

I'm not saying this as a "Haha, you've got nothing! >:3" sorta thing. I'm not entirely convinced on "THE WALL" myself, and I'm curious as to how other people would solve the issue.

altnameJag:
Is it "better than nothing" when it costs more than the annual total budget for border control and won't amount to anything more than security theater?

Surely if it reduces the cost, it pays for itself eventually?

Don't get me wrong, it's a big "If", and I'm not saying "IT WILL!", but, like, what else can we do to reduce the amount of people crossing the border and bringing cocaine into the country?

The Lunatic:

Then what do you suggest?

I'm not saying this as a "Haha, you've got nothing! >:3" sorta thing. I'm not entirely convinced on "THE WALL" myself, and I'm curious as to how other people would solve the issue.

Actually put down more funding and better training for agents so that there's more of them and they can handle more scenarios better? Maybe create a system of check points and outposts for both agents to monitor the area, as well to apprehend, keep, care for, and possibly vet immigrants? The border is long and people are always going to find ways across it, but there can at least be a network in place so that security forces and migrants don't die in the middle of the desert.

The Lunatic:
It is patently obvious that something must be done about this issue in order to reduce cost, stop deaths and reduce the amount of cocaine flowing in the US.

Here are two easier steps to fix this problem then building a wall:

1) End the War on Drugs. Allow every recreational substance to, at least, be legally possessed, transported and made in the Country by people ages 18+.

2) Change immigration laws to a) recognize that most people who want to immigrate here aren't well off, and b) recognize that most immigrants are coming from Central and South America. Reducing, or completely, removing the Quota System for Central and Southern Americans, and making immigration a lot simpler and cheaper (if not free) for everyone is the easiest way to accomplish this.

This removes the power of Narcotics Runners as they now have to compete with Legal Businesses who make their drugs (and probably for cheaper) legally in the States. One of their main ways of competing with Legal Businesses, intimidating 'Illegal' Immigrants into doing it for money, also goes poof as there would no longer be any more 'Illegal' Immigrants; unless they decide to stay off the Grid, all Immigrants would be legally in this country and would not be penalized for being here.

There, I solved your problem, more humanely and way less expensive then a stupid Wall that people will just climb over or tunnel under (if not just go through water channels to do it).

NemotheElvenPanda:
Actually put down more funding and better training for agents so that there's more of them and they can handle more scenarios better? Maybe create a system of check points and outposts for both agents to monitor the area, as well to apprehend, keep, care for, and possibly vet immigrants? The border is long and people are always going to find ways across it, but there can at least be a network in place so that security forces and migrants don't die in the middle of the desert.

Probably. But the problem with increasing funding is that it's now a constant cost.

If you increase the funding by $1 Billion, in 18 years, you'll have spent the price of "THE WALL" and every year after, you'll be going over the price. (I know "THE WALL" will have maintenance cost, but, as it's an unknown value, let's assume it's off-set by the solar generation energy generation, or whatever.)

And at that point, you have to ask if this solution was a better one.

Either one is a shot in the dark, and it's difficult to really say with much certainty which will solve the issues better.

In an ideal world, we'd have both, I suppose.

image

The border control agency actually has a map for apprehensions of illegal entries into the country.

And here we get another issue. We can see that the apprehensions in cities where the borders are very enforced, there's multiple checkpoints and guards and lots of walls. However, out in the middle of Texas, there's a big empty space.

According to the map, there's not even fencing there.
However, given there's no apprehensions, it's impossible to say how many people exploit this gap, we can assume at least some do, but, we simply don't have data for it.

There's little infrastructure, so, it's very hard to enforce anything there. Sure, we have helicopters and all that, but, you can't arrest people from a helicopter can you?

The wall will bring infrastructure to these areas, which is needed in order to patrol them, which in turn means we have less people dying in the desert as there's infrastructure to give aid to those in trouble out there.

NemotheElvenPanda:
Does this guy not realize that planes are a thing?

There are plenty of reasons the proposed border wall is nonsensical, but the potential for planes to fly over it isn't one of them. Planes are a hundred times easier to detect than pedestrians (by just eyesight alone, or by various equipment that can detect them from many miles away), and can be tracked to their landing spot. Planes are also in short supply for your average citizen, and often prohibitively expensive to get hold of.

Boats and tunnels are realistic, though. And, of course, there are countless other reasons the wall would be a mistake, to do with ineffectiveness, poor cost-efficiency, and lack of financing.

Silvanus:
Boats and tunnels are realistic, though. And, of course, there are countless other reasons the wall would be a mistake, to do with ineffectiveness, poor cost-efficiency, and lack of financing.

Tunnels are unrealistic. The border beyond El Paso follows the Rio Grande river. (About 50-60% of the border.)

And if you've ever played Dwarf Fortress, you'll know just how poor of an idea it is to dig in an aquifer.

You cannot tunnel under a river. At least, not without digging all the way to bedrock, and for several miles. Which... Again, unrealistic.

- Edit:
Correction to this, it has actually happened a few times, at the parts of the river where the aquifer is very shallow (Near cities), however, it's only been very small tunnels and has been found fairly quickly. So, it's unlikely to happen on a grand scale, but has been attempted on a much smaller one.

Boats aren't covered under the South Border, that's a completely separate area, and the Wall isn't trying to stop that, so, yes, the wall isn't attempting to stop something it's not being designed to stop.

ouch. That's a lot of money still not being put into education, enforcement, infrastructure, better wages, job protection or healthcare for your own citizens. Good fucking job there

Mr.Mattress:
Snip

So, your solution is to legalise cocaine and grant citizenship to a bunch of criminals who broke the law in getting here in the first place...

Uh... Yeah, I think that might have a fair few more flaws in it than Trump's Wall, I'm afraid.

The Lunatic:

Mr.Mattress:
Snip

So, your solution is to legalise cocaine and grant citizenship to a bunch of criminals who broke the law in getting here in the first place...

Uh... Yeah, I think that might have a fair few more flaws in it than Trump's Wall, I'm afraid.

If we can't reasonably keep the border seamless and impenetrable, then mitigating the reasons why immigration happens and providing easier means of immigration and access to people is one of the only other solutions left.

CaitSeith:
I can't tell what Trump hates the most: immigration or America's financial well-being.

It's not much impact on fianancial well-being. $18 billion is peanuts to the USA.

Under 0.5% of the annual federal budget, and even only about a tenth of the cost overrun of the F-35 fighter plane development (to date).

So what happened to Mexico paying for it?

NemotheElvenPanda:

The Lunatic:

Mr.Mattress:
Snip

So, your solution is to legalise cocaine and grant citizenship to a bunch of criminals who broke the law in getting here in the first place...

Uh... Yeah, I think that might have a fair few more flaws in it than Trump's Wall, I'm afraid.

If we can't reasonably keep the border seamless and impenetrable, then mitigating the reasons why immigration happens and providing easier means of immigration and access to people is one of the only other solutions left.

That second bit is like saying we should hand out free beers to every person entering a highway because we can't reasonably stop drunk drivers.

How tall is this wall? Because they make quite tall ladders these days. Actually, I checked, it's about 9 metres. I have a ladder in my garage that could get me over that.

RiseOfTheWhiteWolf:

NemotheElvenPanda:

The Lunatic:

So, your solution is to legalise cocaine and grant citizenship to a bunch of criminals who broke the law in getting here in the first place...

Uh... Yeah, I think that might have a fair few more flaws in it than Trump's Wall, I'm afraid.

If we can't reasonably keep the border seamless and impenetrable, then mitigating the reasons why immigration happens and providing easier means of immigration and access to people is one of the only other solutions left.

That second bit is like saying we should hand out free beers to every person entering a highway because we can't reasonably stop drunk drivers.

Drunk drivers are knowingly dangerous to themselves and so society. Immigration, illegal or otherwise, isn't, and I'm not saying that every single person that ever crosses the border should automatically get citizenship. The vetting process and procedures would still be in place, but it would ideally handle more people than it does now.

NemotheElvenPanda:

RiseOfTheWhiteWolf:

NemotheElvenPanda:

If we can't reasonably keep the border seamless and impenetrable, then mitigating the reasons why immigration happens and providing easier means of immigration and access to people is one of the only other solutions left.

That second bit is like saying we should hand out free beers to every person entering a highway because we can't reasonably stop drunk drivers.

Drunk drivers are knowingly dangerous to themselves and so society. Immigration, illegal or otherwise, isn't, and I'm not saying that every single person that ever crosses the border should automatically get citizenship. The vetting process and procedures would still be in place, but it would ideally handle more people than it does now.

But illegal immigration is, while not dangerous per se, harmful to lower classes. This is out of the basic "more demand for work lowers the salary". With regular immigration you can at least choose people with qualification for jobs that are in demand.
Also even if you make getting a citizenship a lot easier, there isn't any logical reason to choose people with lower education compared to other people (which I'm under the assumption there is a lot of demand for USA citizenship).

inu-kun:

NemotheElvenPanda:

RiseOfTheWhiteWolf:

That second bit is like saying we should hand out free beers to every person entering a highway because we can't reasonably stop drunk drivers.

Drunk drivers are knowingly dangerous to themselves and so society. Immigration, illegal or otherwise, isn't, and I'm not saying that every single person that ever crosses the border should automatically get citizenship. The vetting process and procedures would still be in place, but it would ideally handle more people than it does now.

But illegal immigration is, while not dangerous per se, harmful to lower classes. This is out of the basic "more demand for work lowers the salary". With regular immigration you can at least choose people with qualification for jobs that are in demand.
Also even if you make getting a citizenship a lot easier, there isn't any logical reason to choose people with lower education compared to other people (which I'm under the assumption there is a lot of demand for USA citizenship).

That's less the fault of illegal immigrants and more of the companies that knowingly advertise work and hire these people so that they can pay them less and expect more work. That is why I also mentioned on getting rid some of the incentives, and that can include penalties on companies that do this sort of thing.

Smithnikov:
So what happened to Mexico paying for it?

Oh they're still paying for it.

I mean, somehow they are.

You know, according to Trump.

Didn't he claim he could built it for a couple million? I remember during the primaries every time he brought it up, his estimate went down.

inu-kun:
But illegal immigration is, while not dangerous per se, harmful to lower classes. This is out of the basic "more demand for work lowers the salary". With regular immigration you can at least choose people with qualification for jobs that are in demand.

While not definitively untrue, there are things which are vastly, vastly more harmful to the lower classes which could be focused on instead.

Like, I've said this many, many times, but "jobs" aren't a Malthusian resource. They aren't dug out of the jobs mine, which can only produce a fixed number of jobs per year, and thus it isn't a simple case of more demand for work lowering salaries because more demand for work implies more people, and more people implies needs which have to be met, and needs which have to be met implies (you've guessed it) jobs.

I mean, there are a lot of bad things about illegal migration (in particular, the fact that it's often linked with organized crime and modern slavery) but stealing poor people's jobs isn't really one of them.

Since a lot of my friends have had experience with immigration services in various "Western" countries, I have to say. They don't care what qualifications you have or your potential for contribution. They have one job and one job only, which is to kick out as many people as possible in order to meet immigration targets from the government, who put those targets in place in order to reduce net migration figures and thus be able tell right wing voters that they're dealing with the "problem" of immigration.

The process is not sophisticated or sensitive enough to be able to reflect what jobs are in demand and which aren't, it's not a system set up to serve any kind of national interest, it's set up to pander to old people and racists who get triggered by hearing foreign languages, because unfortunately that's how you get elected.

A wall worked for Hungary, worked for Croatia, worked for Israel, worked for Saudi Arabia, the list goes on. Whether people like to pretend otherwise or not doesn't change the fact border walls do work. They aren't 100% effective, but they work.

Then again, I have serious doubts the people pretending walls don't work feel that way when one is needed around their property given the fact the socialists in the UK literally build walls to do just that because of obvious reasons. I also doubt they want to see the problem solved either. Mass immigration is class warfare, always has been, always will be. Left wing parties used to remember that, I can't believe Blare/Clinton corporatism has ingrained itself into the modern left so much people pretend you can be pro-worker and pro-immigration.

Zontar:
A wall worked for Hungary, worked for Croatia, worked for Israel, worked for Saudi Arabia, the list goes on. Whether people like to pretend otherwise or not doesn't change the fact border walls do work. They aren't 100% effective, but they work.

Then again, I have serious doubts the people pretending walls don't work feel that way when one is needed around their property given the fact the socialists in the UK literally build walls to do just that because of obvious reasons. I also doubt they want to see the problem solved either. Mass immigration is class warfare, always has been, always will be. Left wing parties used to remember that, I can't believe Blare/Clinton corporatism has ingrained itself into the modern left so much people pretend you can be pro-worker and pro-immigration.

Great Wall of China didn't work. The Walls of Constantinople didn't work. People on the inside can be bribed from the outside and walls can always be torn down.

Also, those nations have smaller borders than the USA. It's not feasible on a number of levels.

The Lunatic:

Surely if it reduces the cost, it pays for itself eventually?

Walls are useless without people to patrol it, those people cost money, etc...

Don't get me wrong, it's a big "If", and I'm not saying "IT WILL!", but, like, what else can we do to reduce the amount of people crossing the border and bringing cocaine into the country?

Force companies using migrant labor to pay at least minimum wage and/or bring the hammer down on companies that use undocumented labor. And I'm talking jail time for CEOs, not piddly "fines".

That'll solve our "problem" real goddamned quick. It's also the only option we'll never take, because we'd rather harass brown people trying to provide for themselves than tackle the root of the problem.

Zontar:
Mass immigration is class warfare, always has been, always will be. Left wing parties used to remember that, I can't believe Blare/Clinton corporatism has ingrained itself into the modern left so much people pretend you can be pro-worker and pro-immigration.

It's easy actually. My giving a shit about worker's rights doesn't stop at the border.

And if we made corporations pay undocumented workers the same as everybody else, and actually bothered punishing corporations that violated that, our problems would largely evaporate. Especially if we also forced said pay to be a living wage.

NemotheElvenPanda:
Great Wall of China didn't work. The Walls of Constantinople didn't work. People on the inside can be bribed from the outside and walls can always be torn down.

Also, those nations have smaller borders than the USA. It's not feasible on a number of levels.

The length of the US/Mexico border is over 4 times longer than Israel's longest, err, length. So, yeah. Also, we kinda have oceans on each side, so unless we got a sea wall...

altnameJag:

Zontar:
Mass immigration is class warfare, always has been, always will be. Left wing parties used to remember that, I can't believe Blare/Clinton corporatism has ingrained itself into the modern left so much people pretend you can be pro-worker and pro-immigration.

It's easy actually. My giving a shit about worker's rights doesn't stop at the border.

And if we made corporations pay undocumented workers the same as everybody else, and actually bothered punishing corporations that violated that, our problems would largely evaporate. Especially if we also forced said pay to be a living wage.

NemotheElvenPanda:
Great Wall of China didn't work. The Walls of Constantinople didn't work. People on the inside can be bribed from the outside and walls can always be torn down.

Also, those nations have smaller borders than the USA. It's not feasible on a number of levels.

The length of the US/Mexico border is over 4 times longer than Israel's longest, err, length. So, yeah. Also, we kinda have oceans on each side, so unless we got a sea wall...

The border also runs along or near various nature preserves, privately owned ranches, and perhaps most important of all, First Nations territory. The government can reduce protected lands and buy land from citizens, but dealing with indigenous groups is another matter entirely, and I don't think many tribal councils and chiefs will want to work with Trump, least of all the USA government, at the moment after the Keystone Pipeline fiasco.

altnameJag:

NemotheElvenPanda:
Great Wall of China didn't work. The Walls of Constantinople didn't work. People on the inside can be bribed from the outside and walls can always be torn down.

Also, those nations have smaller borders than the USA. It's not feasible on a number of levels.

The length of the US/Mexico border is over 4 times longer than Israel's longest, err, length. So, yeah. Also, we kinda have oceans on each side, so unless we got a sea wall...

"Any undeclared ship will be sunk, no questions asked, any declared ship will be searched."

Coast guard can get more funding and more people, more jobs, more security. Problem solved.

Warhound:

altnameJag:

NemotheElvenPanda:
Great Wall of China didn't work. The Walls of Constantinople didn't work. People on the inside can be bribed from the outside and walls can always be torn down.

Also, those nations have smaller borders than the USA. It's not feasible on a number of levels.

The length of the US/Mexico border is over 4 times longer than Israel's longest, err, length. So, yeah. Also, we kinda have oceans on each side, so unless we got a sea wall...

"Any undeclared ship will be sunk, no questions asked, any declared ship will be searched."

Coast guard can get more funding and more people, more jobs, more security. Problem solved.

Funding from where?

Are you going to raise taxes (excluding billionaires obviously) for this?

Warhound:

altnameJag:

NemotheElvenPanda:
Great Wall of China didn't work. The Walls of Constantinople didn't work. People on the inside can be bribed from the outside and walls can always be torn down.

Also, those nations have smaller borders than the USA. It's not feasible on a number of levels.

The length of the US/Mexico border is over 4 times longer than Israel's longest, err, length. So, yeah. Also, we kinda have oceans on each side, so unless we got a sea wall...

"Any undeclared ship will be sunk, no questions asked, any declared ship will be searched."

Coast guard can get more funding and more people, more jobs, more security. Problem solved.

So the Gulf of Mexico, Gulf of California, the Pacific Ocean, and parts of the Rio Grande.

That's going to be very expensive.

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