Much of Border Wall Fight About Trump Resistance, Not Border Security

The Daily Signal | 1/28/2019 | Staff
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James Jay Carafano, a leading expert in national security and foreign policy challenges, is The Heritage Foundation’s vice president for foreign and defense policy studies, E. W. Richardson fellow, and director of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies. Read his research.

Politicians often clothe outrageous policies in reasonable rhetoric. President Donald Trump sometimes does the opposite, wrapping reasonable policy in careless rhetoric.

Call - Muslim - Travel - Ban - Policy

Remember his earlier call for a “Muslim travel ban”? The policy itself—temporary restrictions on travel from a half-dozen countries—was perfectly reasonable. As the ISIS caliphate collapsed, its fighters began fleeing to those nations, and Trump wanted to have measures in place to make sure they did not then come here.

Yet the president’s rhetoric helped fuel a bitter, partisan debate, which kept the policy in abeyance until a Supreme Court ruling restored common sense by upholding the ban.

Call - Border - Wall - Dynamic - Rhetoric

His call for more border wall has sparked a similar dynamic. The political rhetoric on both sides of the debate frequently flies over the top, obscuring the practical rationale for the policy.

Border security needs have changed since Congress passed the Secure Fence Act of 2006. Then, Homeland Security’s focus was to catch illegal border crossers and remove them before they “melted” into the interior.

Fencing - Deterrent - Enforcement - Tool - Likelihood

The fencing was both an effective deterrent and a helpful enforcement tool, increasing the likelihood of expedited removal. As a result, illegal crossings declined.

But the threat to the border has evolved. Those crossing the border with children and claiming to be related as well as those claiming refugee status are not put in expedited removal. Both have become popular tactics to “beat” the system.

Way - Abuse - Asylum - Process - Immigrants

The only way to prevent abuse of the asylum process is to keep would-be immigrants on the other side of the border until 1) they submit formal asylum claims at official points of entry...
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