Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Another Brick in Trump's Wall

In America….Donald Trump is on the campaign trail. On immigration, Trumps’ solution is to build a fence on the border.

“Now, we have to build a fence. And it's got to be a beauty. Who can build better than Trump? I build; it's what I do. I build; I build nice fences, but I build great buildings. Fences are easy, believe me. I saw the other day on television people just walking across the border. They're walking.”

“The military is standing there holding guns and people are just walking right in front, coming into our country. It is so terrible. It is so unfair. It is so incompetent. And we don't have the best coming in. We have people that are criminals; we have people that are crooks. You can certainly have terrorists. You can certainly have Islamic terrorists. You can have anything coming across the border. We don't do anything about it. So I would say that if I run and if I win, I would certainly start by building a very, very powerful border.”

The fence has now become a wall which would be 35-40 feet high.

So what is the border with Mexico like? The total length of the continental border is 1,954 miles (3,145 km). From the Gulf of Mexico, it follows the course of the Rio Grande (Río Bravo del Norte) to the border crossing at El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua; westward from that binational conurbation it crosses vast tracts of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Desert, the Colorado River Delta, westward to the binational conurbation of San Diego, California, and Tijuana, Baja California, before reaching the Pacific Ocean

There are an estimated half a million illegal entries into the United States each year. Border Patrol activity is concentrated around big border cities such as San Diego and El Paso which do have extensive border fencing.

This means that the flow of illegal immigrants is diverted into rural mountainous and desert areas, leading to several hundred migrant deaths along the Mexico–U.S. border of those attempting to cross into the United States from Mexico illegally and vice versa.

But how do you patrol those rural mountains and deserts effectively? For all his rhetoric, Trump has not come up with any real solutions. As the Washington Post notes:

“The hurdles include environmental and engineering problems; fights with ranchers and others who don’t want to give up their land; and the huge topographical challenges of the border, which runs through remote desert in Arizona to rugged mountains in New Mexico and, for two-thirds of its length, along rivers.”

And when it is built, how on earth do you police it? And if you cannot police it, it will not halt immigrants. Any physical barrier can be tunnelled under or climbed over or otherwise circumvented - even partially destroyed.

And finally, from a completely different election....

I really liked the story in BBC regarding the Irish Elections

Mary Lou McDonald, the deputy leader of Sinn Fein - the fourth-biggest party in the last Irish parliament - wanted to be quoted invoking the spirit of one of the figureheads of the Irish Republican movement, Bobby Sands, the IRA hunger striker who starved himself to death in the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland in 1981.

However, somewhere along the way Bobby became Booby and nobody noticed until the leaflets were printed and were starting to be distributed. Not surprisingly the error has caused some amusement and awful punning on social media.

She wins the booby prize for making a blunder with election material!

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