Ever since he horrified American liberals back in November with his extreme rhetoric on illegal immigration, Donald Trump has used American isolation from our southern neighbor as a major campaign platform. According to his advisors, though, it’s looking like The Orange One might be getting a bit more realistic with his goals for “The Wall.”
Hallie Jackson of MSNBC made a lot of interesting revelations on a recent newscast outside Trump tower. Trump has announced a large speech on immigration slated for a few days from now, and one of the planned topics is the wall he’s proposed between Mexico and the U.S.. According to Jackson,
‘You’ve got some questions now about even his wall, for example. You have some of his surrogates now saying that Donald Trump, when he talks about the wall, is also talking about not just a physical wall but a technological or a virtual wall, raising some questions about what exactly that means.’
Ari Melber at MSNBC tweeted the following about Jackson’s recent revelation.
Trump may be shifting towards building more of a “virtual wall” on the border, reports @halliejackson
— Ari Melber MSNBC (@AriMelber) August 29, 2016
Former Texas Governor Rick Perry also weighed in on the wall back in July. According to Politico, he qualified Trump’s statements and said that the wall he spoke of would indeed be a virtual one rather than a physical one. When asked by Snapchat’s Peter Hanby on “Good Luck America” about it, Perry told him:
‘It’s a wall, but it’s a technological wall, it’s a digital wall… There are some that hear this is going to be 1,200 miles from Brownsville to El Paso, 30-foot high, and listen, I know you can’t do that.’
Perry also told a radio station earlier this year that a mega-project like the wall “will take literally years. I don’t care how good of a builder you are.”
The experts tend to agree with Perry on this one. This article in CityLab explores the insane technical, financial, environmental, social, and political hurdles such a project would need to overcome. The combination of those issues seem to put the mere idea of the project squarely in the realm of fiction. For example, the wall would need to go through Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Each of those states would need to be fully compliant with the project. Jim Peters, the ethics officer for the American Planning Association, said;
‘Trump can talk all he wants about a wall, but how do you fund a project like that? And is that a project that those states and the country at large wants to commit to and believes in?’
With a physical wall being all but an impossibility, the virtual wall seems like the only real option for Americans looking to end all their problems by wasting money to keep poor people away. Cast in this new light, the project starts to look very much like George W. Bush’s failed Secure Border Initiative Network. After 3 years and a billion dollars, the SBIN had managed to cover a 28-mile stretch of the 2000-mile Mexican American border.
It’s almost too good. Trump supporters jumped on board his bandwagon based on the conservative equivalent of Obama’s “hopey-changey stuff.” Instead, they’re just getting recycled George W. Bush ideas.