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Trump’s Border Wall Lunacy Won’t End Well

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Trump’s Border Wall Lunacy Won’t End Well

Border Wall

How do you feel about paying for Donald Trump’s border wall, America?

Because if he builds it, the bill is coming to you. Mexico has flatly said it will not pay for the wall. And the cost of the border tax Trump has threatened to impose will simply be passed on to U.S. consumers, who will pay higher prices.

That may be just fine with our tweeter-in-chief, but the American people should think twice. Trump’s obsession with undocumented immigrants and trade with Mexico, which played so well with the Republican base during the presidential campaign, now must be translated into policy, and policy can have far-reaching consequences.

In his first week in office, Trump with great fanfare signed executive orders aimed at undocumented immigrants. First was the decree for the wall, and another was issued to ramp up deportations. More executive orders are promised.

It wasn’t enough for Trump to announce construction of the wall; he took pains again to taunt the Mexican government by claiming it would be made to pay for it. In other words, he felt it appropriate to humiliate a major trading partner, ally, and next-door neighbor.

When Trump suggested that agreeing to pay for the wall was pre-condition for an already planned meeting with President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico, Pena called it off. Sensing that his schoolyard dominance was in doubt, Trump escalated the drama by saying that Mexico would pay for the wall via a 20 percent tax on all imports.

Mexico is the U.S.’s third largest trading partner, and many U.S. jobs are linked to its economy. Destabilizing Mexico’s economy is liable to increase the number of people trying to migrate north, which has been at net zero for years now.

Moreover, imposing a 20 percent tax on Mexican goods could possibly start a trade war, threatening the global trade regime that the United States has assiduously constructed over the last three decades. And, as economist Paul Krugman suggests, it could just drive up the dollar’s value, ultimately erasing any competitive value it has for U.S. business.

Details, details.

Nevertheless, there is much Trump can do to inflict great harm on Mexico, simply because he wishes to. For instance, he could tax or restrict cash remittances to Mexico from people in the United States. Millions of workers in our country regularly send money to friends and family in Mexico — amounting to more than $25 billion last year —  and stopping this flow would be disastrous to the Mexican economy.

Then again, it’s unclear that remittances could be stopped effectively. Trying to do so would just force people to use other channels, possibly even illegal ones. Do we want to create new problems for the sake of Trump’s ego?

Consider also the fight against drug trafficking. It’s best done in conjunction with Mexico, not against it. How willing will Mexico be to cooperate with us in the future if Trump drives it to its knees?

Trump doesn’t realize what he’s done, or what he is poised to do. He’s already created a backlash with behavior in office that appears to be unhinged. His need for adulation and domination is insatiable. And so far he has failed to win it. Expect this to drive him even deeper into denial.

One key fact Trump doesn’t understand is that the America he is dreaming of is in direct conflict with the one that already exists.

Immigrants and their families are deeply entrenched in America, which is why a wide range of interests pushed back when Trump let his orders fly. Mayors, police chiefs, legal scholars, refugee advocates, educators, and everyday citizens have all signaled their determination to resist his policies.

It’s not that anyone is eager to shield a violent immigrant criminal. Rather, people who interact with immigrants as part of daily life know far more than our president.

Most major police departments work with immigration agents routinely, but they’ve pushed back against acting as a part of a deportation force. Police know that immigrants, both legal and undocumented, can be victims, perpetrators, and witnesses to crime. Law enforcement can’t afford to make entire communities fear them.

The optics will be awful if Trump tries to go after the “Dreamers,” people who were brought to the U.S. as children without documents. Trump will have to peel those people out of college classrooms.

Trump is set to learn that it’s not him that’s great. It’s the nation’s citizens, its constitution and laws,and its ethos and conscience, which is widely shared by everyday citizens.

And they are not about to let a fluke of one election cycle undermine the America they’ve worked so hard to build.

IMAGE: U.S. President Donald J. Trump speaks during the 2017 “Congress of Tomorrow” Joint Republican Issues Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. January 26, 2017.  REUTERS/Mark Makela

Mary Sanchez

Mary Sanchez has spent years covering immigration, schools, and other volatile beats for The Kansas City Star. She is now an editorial columnist for the Star, where she continues to offer insightful commentary on immigration, culture, and politics.

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  1. Daniel Jones January 29, 2017

    Trump never learns.

    And that beast with the orangutan scalp-covering will tear down everything that shows him up.


  2. proteus January 29, 2017

    Trump (I refuse to refer to that clown as my President!) and his cohorts are going all in to destroy the America that I grew up in. It doesn’t take a prescient to see that. He has been in office for only eight days and he already has the entire world lining up against us. Well, except for Russia….maybe.
    His response? “It’s working out very nicely. You see it at the airports, you see it all over.” He is PROUD of what he’s doing to us!! WTF?!

  3. iamproteus January 29, 2017

    Trump (I refuse to refer to that clown as my President!) and his cohorts are going all in to destroy the America that I grew up in. It doesn’t take a prescient to see that. He has been in office for only eight days and he already has the entire world lining up against us. Well, except for Russia….maybe.
    His response? “It’s working out very nicely. You see it at the airports, you see it all over.” He is PROUD of what he’s doing to us!! WTF?!

    1. FireBaron January 29, 2017

      Call him Teflon Donnie, like I do. Think about it – he has an entire “Spin Staff” dedicated to make sure nothing sticks to him.

  4. FireBaron January 29, 2017

    One recent comment I heard was forcing the undocumented immigrants held in federal detention centers to build the damn thing. And millions of “trumpettes” will cheer that one on, despite its total unconstitutional standing.

  5. Katie Webb January 30, 2017

    I got paid $104000 in last 12 months by doing an online job from home a­­n­­d I manage to earn that much by w­orking part time f­­o­­r few hours each day. I was following work model I found online and I am amazed that i was able to make so much extra income. It’s really newbie friendly and I’m just so thankful that I found out about it. This is what i do… http://www.facebook.com/Work-at-home-Jobs-for-US-UK-Australia-Canada-and-New-Zealand-1798551173730515/app/208195102528120/

  6. Dominick Vila January 30, 2017

    The problem with Trump is that his malignant narcissism prevents him from understanding the effects of his decisions, the damage he is doing to our institutions of government and values, and the negative effects of his policy proposals. He is so convinced of his infallibility, and his superior judgment and wisdom, that he cannot even conceive that what he is doing is destructive, immoral, and evil. A cursory look at his demeanor reveals that his understanding of the responsibilities he has undertaken are limited to monarchical ceremonial acts, leaving the burden of governance to those closest to him. He has already transformed himself into a European style King, surrounded by obedient servant ready to please and take care of the mundane responsibilities that are the centerpiece of the responsibilities of the Office of the Presidency. With the notable exception of his infantile tweets, he has also marginalized the Heads of the various department and agencies he nominated, relegating to the role of executing the orders and wishes that emanate from the Oval Office. In that regard, he has delegated the bulk of his responsibilities on people like Steve Bannon, with Priebus, Conway, and Spicer serving as interpreters of his alternative facts. The USA, and the entire World is going to go through a four year period unlike anything we have experienced since we became a nation. Hopefully we will survive this aberration of logic.

    1. bobnstuff January 30, 2017

      Do you think he will last four years? Congress is already getting tired of him, the honeymoon is over. There is enough dirt on him right now to throw him out of office but I think they are waiting for the Russian connection. The hearing are already beginning.

      1. Independent1 January 30, 2017

        You might appreciate this article:

        The Inevitability Of Impeachment

        Trump has been trying to govern by impulse, on whim, for personal
        retribution, for profit, by decree ― as if he had been elected dictator.
        It doesn’t work, and the wheels are coming off the bus. After a week!

        Impeachment is gaining ground because it is the only way to get him out, and because Republicans are already deserting this president in droves, and because the man is psychiatrically incapable of checking whether something is legal before he does it.

        Impeachment is gaining ground because it’s so horribly clear that Trump is unfit for office. The grownups around Trump, even the most slavishly loyal ones, spend half their time trying to rein him in, but it can’t be done.

        For more:

      2. jmprint January 30, 2017

        The true fault lies on the christian CONservatives and if we don’t do something they will find another Trump to do their dirty deeds.

      3. Dominick Vila January 30, 2017

        He cannot be impeached without clear evidence of high crimes or misdemeanors. Being a loose cannon does not fit the bill, and the only ones to blame are those who knew how unfit and dangerous this man is…and voted for him nevertheless. I am afraid that unless something truly sinister emerges, such a deliberate collusion with the Russians, we will have to put up with Trump for four long years. Hopefully there will be enough left to save by the end of his term.

        1. bobnstuff January 30, 2017

          He will go down for bribes, like the 19% of the Russian oil he just got. Once it’s been traced he is gone. It could also come from his not divesting himself of his business interests. His greed will catch up with him. He is already getting set up to suck money from his 2020 campaign. Watergate will seem to be nothing when compared to Trumps full.

        2. Independent1 January 30, 2017

          According to the following article, Trump has some interest in 564 companies in 25 foreign nations. How can anyone remotely believe than in doing his job as president he won’t be greatly influenced by those conflicts of interest. Just his Muslim ban proves that, as he has no interests in the 6 nations involved in the ban – nations from which no immigrants have been involved in killing any Americans; while there are 7 Muslim majority nations Trump didn’t include in the ban in which he has business interests and immigrants from 4 of those 7 nations have been involved in killing over 3,000 Americans since the 1970s.

          Trump’s Muslim ban is clear evidence of Trump having a conflict of interest in compiling the list of nations to be banned.

          See this article from Money.cnn.com about an ethics lawsuit filed against Trump last week:

          Ethics lawsuit to claim Trump is in violation of Constitution

          Trump owns or has a position in at least 564 businesses and
          partnerships that have done businesses in at least 25 foreign countries, according to a CNN analysis.

          Ethics lawyers, many of whom work with CREW, have repeatedly urged Trump to divest himself of those holdings to avoid potential conflicts of interest.

          Related: Trump will leave business, but won’t sell But Trump has refused to sell anything he owns. At the January 11 press
          conference, he said he’d put his holdings into some type of trust controlled by his two adult sons, but he would still maintain an ownership stake in his properties.

          That decision, ethics experts have stressed, leaves open the possibility that Trump’s personal profit motive could influence his decisions as president.

          According to CREW, Trump’s refusal to divest means “he is now getting cash and favors from foreign governments through guests and events at his hotels, leases in his buildings, and valuable real estate deals abroad.”

          “When Trump the president sits down to negotiate trade
          deals with these countries, the American people will have no way of knowing whether he will also be thinking about the profits of Trump the businessman,” the group wrote in its news release announcing the imminent lawsuit.

          The lawyers attached to the case include CREW board chairman Norman Eisen, an ethics lawyer for President Obama, and vice-chairman Richard Painter, a former ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush. Constitutional law scholars Erwin Chemerinsky, Laurence H. Tribe and Zephyr Teachout, and Deepak Gupta are also on the case.


          1. Dominick Vila January 31, 2017

            In addition to being an incompetent and vindictive ceremonial President, he makes Richard Nixon look like a boy scout when it comes to ethics, common sense, and respect for the right of others. To pursue his agenda, and protect his interests, he exploits fear, prejudice, and engages in contradictions and deflections, to get what is in HIS best interests. Sadly, that’s precisely why so many fellow Americans support him and approve of what he is doing.

          2. Independent1 January 31, 2017

            And a big reason for why millions of Americans support Trump is because of the right-wing propaganda machine, Faux News, etal which constantly fabricate reality and make millions of Americans believe that what he’s doing is good for them and the country – rather than as destructive as it really is. And add to that right-wing propaganda machine, an America media that is more interested in profits than telling true facts, which allows the right-wing propaganda machine and corrupt GOP politicians to get away with a constant barrage of their lies.

            An example of all that is Trump’s recent signing of an EO designed to undo years of environmental and other regulations which the right-wing media is now pushing as saving Americans 175 billion dollars – which is mind boggling nonsense – and which totally ignores the environmental damage that undoing these regulations will create not to mention the thousands of lives that may be lost because of what will not be added pollution in the air we breathe and water we drink and more dangerous working conditions in America’s factories and other workplaces.

          3. Independent1 January 31, 2017

            On thing that baffles me is why some in the media like the NYTimes, HuffPost and WAPO, aren’t making an effort to expose Trump’s enormous conflict of interest and outright hypocrisy with the idiot immigration ban on Muslims.

            Why aren’t some news outlets exposing Trump by making millions of Americans aware that Trump has deliberately ignored banning Muslims from countries not only where he has business interests, but countries from which terrorists have come to America and ended up killing over 3,000 Americans. While there is no record of any terrorist acts ever having been committed by any immigrant coming from the six countries he has banned.

          4. Dominick Vila January 31, 2017

            Perhaps they remember W getting away with murder when he declared Saudi Arabia a Most Favored Nation for trade purposes after OBL ordered the 9/11 attack, Saudi Arabia princes financed the operation, and 15 Saudi Arabians carried it out. In that instance, the media ignored what W did, and so did the general public. What is happening now is phase 2 of a crusade dominated by greed.

    2. InGen12 January 30, 2017

      Everyone is now viewing the “successful businessman” he bragged about being. He ran his companies (some into bankruptcy) with chaos and by the seat of his pants and that is how he will run this country. He needs to go!


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