A huge national distraction is underway in the American election, the so-called Immigration Crisis. Now, considerable problems with US Immigration policies do exist---none of which are being discussed by political candidates or the Media Cartels. This is a complicated issue that will be covered in several posts; which hopefully will expose some of the truths behind this problem.
At the top of the list comes one of Donald Trump's proposals to construct a Wall of some type, running the length of the US-Mexico border, and forcing Mexico to pay for this project. Trump and former Mexican president Vicente Fox have had some heated exchanges over these proposals---and Fox does have a valid point that Mexico may have something to say about footing the bill for the project.
To understand why the very feasibility of the Border Wall is even seriously being considered, one has to understand the audience involved. Surveys conducted by the National Geographic Society have shown that over half of Americans cannot locate Mexico on a map of North America. That puts a lot of the issue in context by itself. Maybe, for example, we should focus on educational reform instead?
The US-Mexico Border is 1,989 miles long. A conservative estimate of the cost of building a wall of that length comes out at a minimum of over $17 billion; and that is simply for the material cost (exclusive of labor, machinery, and other overhead). Trump's estimate of $7 billion is an illusion. His calculations are based on extrapolating the cost of constructing the Israeli Security Fence; which was built on level terrain in an urbanized environment. The US-Mexico border is completely different geographically. Also, Israeli labor costs are far cheaper than American labor costs---especially for government contractors who are bound by Prevailing Wage Laws. A Congressional Budget Office study recently concluded that after seven years, the cost of maintaining the Wall would exceed its construction cost.
What about the argument, then, that the Wall would create American jobs and keep illegal immigrants from taking American jobs? To start with, Obama and Kerry are currently in Brussels negotiating the TTIP Treaty with the EU. Germany is pushing for TTIP to include opening US contractor bids to EU interests: the irony here being that a Border Wall designed to protect American jobs will redound to the profit of the European Union. Germany, incidentally, already has a higher trade surplus with the US than Mexico has.
And who would supply the materials for constructing the Wall? A job like that would likely be handled by a consortium (such as the Carlyle Group) most of which are heavily invested in by concerns from the Wahhabi Sheikdoms on the Arabian Peninsula. So not only could the EU profit from a Wall, so could the Arabs.
If the American people really want to do something about immigrants and their impact on the job market, they can do the following things instead:
1. Repeal laws that make it cheaper for manufacturers to outsource to Mexico.
2. Invest the billions for the Wall into upgrading our infrastructure; such as ports, dams, the power grid, highways, bridges, water-treatment, irrigation, the transportation systems, etc.,---all of which are dangerously obsolete or deteriorating in the United States.
3. Abolish Affirmative-Action and hiring quotas. These laws are responsible for more importation of labor than most realize.
4. Amnesty, such as Ronald Reagan introduced, allowing immigrant workers to fill jobs where there are domestic labor shortages (such as migrant farm workers).
All those things would accomplish far more economic good than a Border Wall, something which should be obvious but evidently is not. It's not in the interest of Transnational Corporate Cartels to build a strong and independent US economy, but a project like the Border Wall, is.