There is a big problem with Donald Trump’s wall. For one thing, it will not keep people out who fly illegal drugs or people into the U.S. Worse, there is an even bigger problem.
The president has deployed about 1,600 National Guard Troops to the nation’s border to the south. He wanted them posted along the Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona borders with Mexico.
The purpose of the National Guard deployment was to support the Department of Homeland Security’s installation of border patrols. Trump said that the National Guard would be a temporary fix until Congress gives him enough money to build his wall, one of his top campaign promises.
Unfortunately, that will not be a good solution, according to the commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Paul Zukunft, when he spoke to the Defense Writers Group. He called 45’s plan “shortsighted,” according to Air Force Magazine:
‘I think we’d be shortsighted to think that if we build a wall that will end all the drivers for illegal migration. If you can’t come across a terrestrial border between Mexico and the United States, then go around it. We keep a very close eye on what those trends are. Hasn’t happened, but that would probably be several years (away).’
The Coast Guard has been a major player in the illegal drug trade. It seized 223.8 metric tons of cocaine in 2017 alone, after it took 201.3 metric tons the year before.
Representative John Garamendi (D-CA) serves as the ranking member of the House’s Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee. It oversees the Coast Guard. Last week he said “go where the problem is,” CNN reported:
‘If you want to go where the problem is, fund the Coast Guard.’
The Coast Guard falls under Homeland Security’s Kirstjen Nielsen’s responsibility. The admiral met with her, and they are both in agreement.
‘I really look at our border as a system. And I did meet with our secretary last week. … She looks at the wall as a system, in fact, as well. So when you look at a wall, I mean, that is a clear defensive posture, and it’s a physical barrier. But what other barriers or what borders exists beyond that wall, and that is maritime borders.’
Asked about what resources he needed immediately, Zukunft said his top priority was the United States’ relationship with Colombia to halt cocaine smuggling before it reached the U.S.:
‘First and foremost, resume aerial eradication. Stop the cultivation. The next is work within what I would call relatively ungoverned territories within Colombia. These shipments originate in the river systems of Colombia where there are no roadways. … There is not a riverine interdiction program to stop this at the source before this cocaine even reaches the high seas. And so we’re working with our country team in Bogota, working with Colombia national police and our military counterparts to see, can we set up a riverine interdiction program.’
The Twitter world went wild over Trump’s tweet on the wall. Here are some of our favorites:
Featured Image via Getty Images/Joe Raedle.