Three Reasons the Wall Won’t Be Built

Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee yesterday and confirmed what pretty much everyone knew: There won’t really be much of an expansion to the existing wall on the US-Mexico border.

Hidden in the midst of lengthy testimony and other important news of the day, including the removal of Stephen Bannon, the President’s chief strategist, from his position on the principals committee of the National Security Council, was Kelly’s testimony which softened significantly the size and scope of a wall project for the border.

“The president knows that I’m looking at every variation on the theme,” Secretary Kelly explained. “And I have no doubt when I go back to him and say, ‘You know boss, wall makes sense here, fencing ― high-tech fencing ― makes sense over here, technology makes sense over here, I have no doubt he will tell me to go do it.’”

The wall that Trump repeatedly promised throughout the election is a bad idea, apart from the fact that it won’t actually address the issues that candidate and then President Trump has asserted. Here are the three biggest reasons there won’t be a wall:

  1. Illegal immigration into the US has been falling over the past five years and there’s no indication that a wall will help reduce it further.
  2. Congress, the body that actually would have to appropriate the funds for a wall, has other pressing financial concerns and an expensive wall will be hard to sell back home when millions eventually will lose their healthcare if the Trump/Ryan plans to repeal Obamacare progress.
  3. The costs associated with a wall are proving to be greater than anticipated and neither the Mexican government nor the Mexican people are interested in paying for it. An import tax that could potentially pay for the wall would cost American jobs and increase the cost of imported goods from Mexico making it an unpalatable solution.

Representative Collin Peterson (D-MN) recently spoke with and was confident that the import tax, which has even less support in the Senate, will not make it through the House.

Trump has made good on a number of his campaign promises and he may, facing backlash from his followers, reconsider a full wall from “sea to shining sea.” But so far, the wall seems like another example of a promise that will not be kept.