Donald Trump’s claim that he could build a southern-border wall and have Mexico pay for it was certainly good GOP primary rhetoric. But now a former Mexican official says it’s also something the Republican nominee’s critics never suspected: a realistic policy proposal.
Jorge Castañeda, who was Mexico's secretary of foreign affairs from 2000 to 2003 and is now a New York University professor, made his comments at the Hudson Institute (video below) in Washington last Wednesday. As the Weekly Standard reports:
"If [Trump] really wants Mexico to pay for the wall, he has many ways of getting many Mexicans to pay for the wall," Castañeda said in an auditorium sitting directly across the street from Trump's newly opened Pennsylvania Avenue hotel.
He could "increase the fee for visas, which is a decision made by the State Department, not by Congress," Castañeda continued. He could "increase the toll on the bridges [between the two countries] ... again, not done by Congress."
Castañeda also suggested that Trump could tax remittances from the U.S. to Mexico: "There are ways of doing it," he said, "transaction fees, commissions, special fees etc." He labeled a recent resolution in the Mexican Senate to bar the use of Mexican federal funds for construction of the wall as "silly."
(Relevant portion begins at 1:30:47)
Note here that Castañeda is no fan of Trump. Along with presenting a litany of criticisms of the GOP nominee’s policy proposals, the Mexican also said, “Trump’s election would be a huge disaster for Mexico. I can’t conceive of any circumstances under which it would be a positive, favorable development for Mexico.” Thus, in his comments about the wall, he was just being realistic.
As for the unrealistic, forget billing Mexico. Many illegal-migration enablers have scoffed at even the idea of building a wall, behaving as if erecting a barrier is some odd notion. Of course, this is silly because building barriers is the very first thing people have done, historically, when seeking security. The Chinese have their Great Wall; the Romans built Hadrian’s Wall in England; ancient and medieval cities and castles were protected by walls, the Vatican being a good example; the White House is surrounded by a fence; Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (another illegal-migration enabler) constructs walls around his properties; and, strangely enough, even the most liberal homeowners choose fences, walls, and locked doors over the “free flow of people” through their homes. And proving that building walls (not bridges) isn’t foreign to those of Barack Obama’s political bent, the East German authorities built the Berlin Wall in 1961.
Speaking of which, even Hillary Clinton 6.0 agreed. Just last November she answered a question at a New Hampshire event by saying, “Well, look, I voted numerous times when I was a senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in. And I do think you have to control your borders." Moreover, reports Investor’s Business Daily, she stated in 2005, “I am adamantly against illegal immigrants.... Clearly, we have to make some tough decisions as a country, and one of them ought to be coming up with a much better entry-and-exit system.”
The reality is that a country without secure borders is like a house without walls. Whatever one’s position on immigration and amnesty, it’s unarguable that a porous border is a grave national security threat; criminals, terrorists, and weapons of mass destruction can pass through and, with millions having crossed the southern border illegally during the last decade, they all no doubt have. Thus, launching Mideast military adventures to fight “terrorism” while leaving the back door to Mexico wide open is like hitting the streets to fight crime, Charles Bronson, Death Wish-style, and leaving your door open and your family vulnerable behind you. You’d be the one with the death wish.
And modern technology allows us to secure borders like never before. Any wall built could be fitted with heat and motion sensors tied in to a central computer that analyzes movement; in fact, drones, perhaps possessing the same capacities, could patrol the span 24/7/365. It’s all very feasible.
Also feasible, contrary to popular media myth, is deporting illegal aliens. Castañeda acknowledges this, too, writes the Washington Examiner, “Noting that Obama has been dubbed the ‘Deporter-in-Chief’ for removing two million,” so Trump’s “doubling that to four million shouldn't be a problem.”
Yet while this is true, Castañeda makes a common mistake: not placing Obama’s deportation numbers in perspective. In reality, they will naturally be higher because the government has changed the way is calculates those numbers, counting individuals turned away at the border as “deported” when previously they would have been labeled “returns.” Left-leaning Politifact makes a convincing case for why this change is legitimate and doesn’t reflect a desire to “cook the books,” but it nonetheless is a reality.
Then there’s another reality: Forget four million; we could remove virtually all illegals from our country. And we don’t even have to deport them.
They would deport themselves.
As I wrote in The New American in 2012:
We get so distracted talking about how hard and uncompassionate it would be to apply the [illegal-migration] stick that we forget about simply removing the carrot. After all, what draws illegals here? There are three basic things:
3. Free schooling.
Thus, take away the jobs by ensuring that employers won’t dare hire illegals and forbid the latter from receiving benefits or from enrolling their children in school, and the problem takes care of itself. As happened in Arizona and Alabama when they cracked down on illegals, the migrants will self-deport. Ensure that their economic prospects look better in their native countries, and that’s exactly where they’ll go.
To enhance this plan further, we could also change the anchor-baby law and forbid illegals from receiving all but catastrophic medical care (no using emergency rooms for the sniffles). But the carrot will have largely been removed either way, and, once this is done, deporting the few remaining illegals would be a simple task.
If you’re wondering why a solution so simple is rarely voiced, another former Mexican official might have the answer. Fredo Arias-King, ex-aide to former Mexican president-elect Vicente Fox, related in 2006 how he and his colleagues spoke to 50 U.S. congressmen and senators back in 1999 and 2000. The upshot?
“Of those 50 legislators,” he wrote, “45 were unambiguously pro-immigration, even asking us at times to ‘send more.’ This was true of both Democrats and Republicans.” Arias-King also had this to say about these “representatives of the people”: “I remember few instances when a legislator spoke well of his or her white constituents. One even called them ‘rednecks,’ and apologized to us on their behalf for their incorrect attitude on immigration. Most of them seemed to advocate changing the ethnic composition of the United States as an end in itself.”
This once again illustrates how, today, treason has become the pseudo-elite norm. It also explains the Trump phenomenon and why people want to see the establishment disestablished.
Photo of vendors at Tijuana border crossing: Toksave