Is the US-Mexican border problem a crisis?

Rhetoric and exaggeration are common in politics. There is currently a war of words in the United States over their immigration problem on the Mexican border. There is certainly a major problem there.

Is it a crisis? Possibly, depending on how you define ‘crisis’ – but if so, it may have been an ongoing crisis over decades. And Trump has been talking up crisis to justify his border wall since the presidential election in 2016.

It may be a long-term crisis, but the real crisis may be in a dysfunctional Government and political system.

New York Times: In Texas Visit, Trump Presses His Argument That There’s a Border ‘Crisis’

President Trump arrived in this city on the Mexican border on Thursday to dramatize his desire for a border wall, a hardened position that has caused the partial shutdown of the federal government.

He surrounded himself with border agents, victims of horrible crimes, a display of methamphetamine and heroin, an AK-47 and an AR-15 rifle, and a trash bag stuffed with $362,062 in cash that had been confiscated by law enforcement officials.

In his view, it all added up to a single word, “crisis,” with a lone solution, building a wall.

He also criticized Democrats who have accused him of trying to manufacture a crisis to justify his $5.7 billion border barrier demand. “What’s manufactured is the word manufactured,” the president said.

Democrats have insisted that the administration faces a large-scale humanitarian problem that is a direct result of Mr. Trump’s policy, but argue that a border wall is not the right solution and that Mr. Trump has failed to make the case that there is a true security crisis.

Frida Ghitis (CNN): Trump is creating a ‘crisis’ to distract from the real crisis of a flailing president

Something has changed. President Donald Trump’s headline-hungry governing style has never lacked for drama, but there’s a new sense of aimlessness lately in Trump’s frenetic search for a crisis, his efforts to control the headlines, distract from other events, and keep his base satisfied that he is the muscular fighter who will stop at nothing to achieve his goals.

In reality, the Trump administration is a vortex of incoherence.

In the final weeks of 2018, Trump suddenly revived his promise to build a wall with all the concentrated determination of a man fleeing a posse.

The promise was never quite dead (the second stanza of the “Build the Wall” campaign chant, the part about Mexico paying, has faded, drowned by the debunking of nonsensical claims) but two years into the Trump administration, the urgency of building a wall exploded onto the scene only after tangible threats to Trump looked imminent.

Trump’s claim that there’s an immigration crisis at the border is refuted by experts. His demonization of immigrants treads a well-worn path of demagogues seeking to invent enemies to build support. And even people who live along the border are skeptical of his claim that a wall is a solution. And yet he has brought part of the government to a standstill over it.

Investor’s Business Daily: Yes, There Is A Crisis At The Border — The Numbers Show It

Illegal Immigration: Democrats and the mainstream press accuse President Donald Trump of manufacturing a crisis at the border. The numbers tell another story.

As soon as the words “growing humanitarian and security crisis at our Southern border” left Trump’s lips in his Oval Office address this week, Democrats and media “fact-checkers” were trying to dispel it as a deliberate lie.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump “must stop manufacturing a crisis, and must reopen the government.”

Border Crossings Climbing

NPR’s “fact check” — like countless others — dismissed Trump’s claim as false because “illegal border crossings in the most recent fiscal year (ending in September 2018) were actually lower than in either 2016 or 2014.”

What they aren’t telling you is border patrol agents apprehended more than 100,000 people trying to enter the country illegally in just October and November of last year. Or that that number is way up from the same two months the year before.

Nor do they mention that last year, the border patrol apprehended more than half a million people trying to get into the country illegally. And that number, too, is up from the year before.

That’s huge numbers.

The Department of Homeland Security claims that about 20% of illegal border crossers make it into the country. Other studies, however, say border agents fail to apprehend as much as 50% of illegal crossers.

Even at the lower percentage, that means that 104,000 illegals made it into the country in 2018 alone.

Is that not a crisis at the border?

It is a big problem to deal with, but is it “a time of intense difficulty or danger”? Or “a time when a difficult or important decision must be made”? Important decisions have to be made all the time by Governments. But Trump made his decision about building a wall years ago.

Pelosi and company also don’t bother to mention the fact that there are already between 12 million and 22 million illegals — depending on which study you use — in the country today.

An analysis by the nonpartisan ProCon.org found that in 2010 almost 4% of the U.S. population was in the country illegally. The average for 13 other countries it analyzed was just 1.3%.

Large scale illegal immigration has been happening for a long time.

Isn’t having millions in the country illegally, with thousands joining them every day, not a crisis at the border?

Past Presidents Promised To Fix This

Here’s another problem with claims that we don’t have a crisis at the border.

Past presidents all treated it like one.

In 1982, for example, President Ronald Reagan said that “The ongoing migration of persons to the United States in violation of our laws is a serious national problem detrimental to the interests of the United States.”

President Bill Clinton said in his 1995 State of the Union address that “All Americans … are rightly disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering our country.” That’s why, he said, “our administration has moved aggressively to secure our borders.”

President George Bush, in a prime-time Oval Office speech in 2006, declared that securing the U.S. border is a basic responsibility of a sovereign nation. It is also an urgent requirement of our national security.”

President Barack Obama in 2005 declared that “we simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented, unchecked.” And in 2014 even he admitted there was a crisis on the border — one that he did virtually nothing to fix. (Apprehensions at the border last year were almost the same as in 2014.)

None of those past presidents are quoted as saying it was a ‘crisis’, but it was obviously a large problem of concern. One of the concerns about it was the impact on the US economy a major purge of illegal immigrants would have – illegals had become an essential part of the economy.

Perhaps the US has had an ongoing immigration crisis since the 1980s. One problem is that mass deportation would likely create a labour shortage crisis, and could create an economic crisis. And it would almost certainly create crises elsewhere, wherever the large number of deportees went to.

And perhaps here is a more recent crisis – a crisis in US government. Now that the Democrats have taken control of Congress, and they are refusing to fund Trump’s wall, there could be a developing political crisis. A dysfunctional democracy may have reached crisis point.

Building a wall on the Mexican border is nor going to fix their massive immigration problems, but the funding issue has created a clash of crises – immigration and a dysfunctional Government.

It’s hard to see any quick or easy solutions to either, with politicians from the President down seemingly hell bent on putting their own political interests a priority over trying to find solutions to their entrenched immigration problem.

New York Times:  What Trump Could Learn From His Shutdown

You know the system has broken down when the clearest way out of a government shutdown may be for the president to declare a fake national emergency.

This was the direction President Trump appeared to be leaning on Thursday, as he flew to McAllen, Tex., to promote his border wall — a P.R. stunt that he didn’t want to perform and that he said in advance was unlikely to bear fruit. “It’s not going to change a damn thing,” he was reported to have said, “but I’m still doing it.”

Bottom line: Mr. Trump loves to boast that he leads with his “gut.” He really can’t be bothered with all the humdrum details of governing, remaining proudly ignorant of how anything works in Washington — the presidency, the Congress, the Constitution. That’s left him in a standoff for which he was wholly unprepared.

For the sake of the millions being hurt, let’s hope he manages to blunder himself back out of this mess soon.

It’s alarming to see that “a stupid or careless mistake” is suggested as the sole way out of a clash of crises.

 

28 Comments

  1. Corky

     /  12th January 2019

    ”Past Presidents Promised To Fix This.”

    Kind of says it all for me. We now have one that will fix it..and nobody wants to know. And the intellectually befuddled wonder why I’m a Trump supporter.

    Perhaps Gezza is right.. America has what it deserves.

    • Duker

       /  12th January 2019

      It wont ‘fix it’
      ” Build the wall” was just a campaign slogan. Just like ‘make Mexico pay’ was a slogan ,now refuted!
      if it was in any way workable it would have started to be put in place during the last 2 years of republican control in congress and budget process.

      • Duker

         /  12th January 2019

        ” Lock her up” also turned different than Trump imagined , as it was his aides who are going to be doing time.

      • Corky

         /  12th January 2019

        ”It wont ‘fix it’”

        Immigration in general, or the border issues?

        ”Build the wall” was just a campaign slogan. Just like ‘make Mexico pay’ was a slogan ,now refuted!”

        Well, yes and no. Obviously, given the government shut down at the moment, the wall is not just a campaign slogan. If it was, Trump would have moved on..but he hasn’t. He’s fighting for his wall.

        ”If it was in any way workable it would have started to be put in place during the last 2 years of republican control in congress and budget process.”

        Republicans are chicken littles like the Dems. They don’t like TRUMP. They have no interest in National Security. They are all about lip service.

        ”Lock her up” also turned different than Trump imagined , as it was his aides who are going to be doing time.”

        Can’t win them all, Duk. Sometimes you just have to take your lumps.

        • Duker

           /  12th January 2019

          His aides being locked up was the easiest of all to fix . just Fire Mueller.
          I think the current strategy to to suppress ( bad bits) of the final report so he can still say No Collusion.

          • Unfortunately the Trump/Giuliani strategy to suppress the (bad bits of the) final report might just run into trouble.

            The first possible problem for their strategy is that Robert Mueller is issuing his report in his speaking indictments. He’s gone into great detail in his indictments, well beyond the constitutional requirements of laying out the essential facts of the offense charged.

            If you look at the indictments against the Russians, for example, Mueller describes the charges against the 12 defendants at great length, in addition to giving the biographies of each defendant and detailing the manner and means of their alleged conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States. That is detail that is unnecessary for the charges, i.e. Mueller is already telling his story.

            The second possible problem is that the House Intelligence Committee is now a Democrat majority, under Adam Schiff, and Schiff is now able to invite or subpoena Mueller to testify before Congress in a public hearing. Schiff has already said he would likely use his subpoena power to obtain and release Mueller’s eventual report if he needed to.

  2. Blazer

     /  12th January 2019

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  12th January 2019

      Dems: the Party for drugs and thugs?

      • Zedd

         /  12th January 2019

        really AW ??

        I hear that the biggest Drug dealers & Thugs are on the Alt-Right !

        • Zedd

           /  12th January 2019

          btw: the biggest ‘Drug Dealers’ are called in corporate-speak; ‘Big Pharma’ eg Fentanyl etc. which MrT claims is ‘flooding across the southern border’ from Mexico; FAKE news or what ?

          quick reminder.. there was a news item about a year ago; one of MrTs ex-business partners, was arrested for Cocaine dealing. Whispers.. that it wasn’t just Real estate they were BOTH involved with, back when !? :/

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  12th January 2019

        Dogwhistle politics and ad hominem attacks so early in the weekend?

    • Zedd

       /  12th January 2019

      I Love it, Blazer.. “blaze on you Crazy Diamond” !!

  3. thespectrum

     /  12th January 2019

    No crisis at all.
    The media totally love it.
    And to be fair politically minded folk do too 🙂
    A wonderful opportunity for all and sundry to launch
    political missiles at each other all day every day.
    The media has years of copy available how ever this plays out
    The age old Lefties v Righties gam is wheeled out yet again.
    It was the same with Obama care. 8 years of Leftie v Rightie pitch.
    Obama was cast as the flaky Black SJW Welfare promoting Multicultural
    Peace advocating, Feminist, Gay, Commie driven Green Leftie.
    Trump is cast as the Mean Angry Exclusive, White Capitalist Militarist,
    anti Green, anti Feminism anti Gay, God driven Rightie.
    It’s an easy game to play in many countries world wide.
    I hear the social media in far away Noo Zeelind love this issue too where
    their Lefties and Righties are only to keen to lock horns
    over the Wall issue every day 🙂
    Wall to wall coverage.
    The big winner is……. the media. ….. again 😦

  4. duperez

     /  12th January 2019

    A crisis is in the eyes of the beholder. That view changes with circumstances. When others don’t believe there is the crisis which someone announces (because they crave it), they might have a different crisis.

    Then again I’ve being reading about how a crisis isn’t a crisis unless or until the media uses the word. Such as housing in New Zealand.

    Then when the media use the word is it done to avert the crisis of their own irrelevance? 🙃

    • thespectrum

       /  12th January 2019

      @CorkyDo we include yours?😁 Absolutely Corks. I am on the fence ahh I mean wall getting splinter arz, watching developments. I will let both sides pulverize each other to smithereenes then when they run out of ammo I will pop up play peace maker and become President 🙂 Now where’s my copy of Winston’s “waka jumping your way to the top “.

  5. Pink David

     /  12th January 2019

    It was only a few months ago the media frequently describing the border as a crisis.

    “Donald Trump has no answers for the border crisis. And things are about to get worse.”

    https://edition.cnn.com/2018/07/05/politics/immigration-separation-border-trump/index.html

    https://www.vox.com/2018/11/28/18089048/border-asylum-trump-metering-legally-ports

    • Duker

       /  12th January 2019

      Ah … using Trumps ‘separation of children from parents crisis’, to say there is another crisis.
      You need to get your Trump crisis ducks all lined up in a row

      • Pink David

         /  12th January 2019

        “Trumps ‘separation of children from parents crisis
        You need to get your Trump crisis ducks all lined up in a row’”

        Is this a Trump crisis, or did this happen prior to Trump? Perhaps the headline should be “Enforcement of the actual laws, results in crisis”?

        • Duker

           /  12th January 2019

          Judges have ruled differently about ‘enforcement’

  6. The Consultant

     /  12th January 2019

    Government Shuts Down, Nation Descends into Riots, Looting and Cannibalism:

    The United States of America (1787-2018) came to a swift and sudden end last week as the government shut down. The nation which had survived Pearl Harbor, the War of 1812 and Jimmy Carter ceased to exist.

    The savage population, which had only been kept in line through a policy of rigorous gun
    confiscations, food stamps and lectures on the environment unleashed its pent up rage in a spree of riots, looting and mass murder that had only previously been encountered in Somalia, Russia and a Walmart in downtown Atlanta.

    Still, there is some good news….

    The only surviving member of the national government outside the dead zone is believed to be Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who floated to safety down the Potomac on a raft made out of the bodies of the other members of the Progressive Caucus.

    She has since chosen to communicate only in horrified whispers and Instagram glamor shots.

  7. The Consultant

     /  12th January 2019

    From the same article. Classic, but worth seeing again…

  8. Zedd

     /  12th January 2019

    Herr Donald.. showing his ‘true colours’ ! (avoiding the godwin)

    btw; Did you notice he has a new White cap ‘Make America Great (or White) Again !!’

    Its called creating a totally false narrative.. then just keep repeating it (ad nauseum) until enough folks start to believe the B-S you are spreading.. as THICK as is possible :/

    OR keep paying off those, of like mind in the media… to do it for you ?!

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  12th January 2019

      It reached the ad nauseam point ages ago.

      He wants his wall, tough titty for all the people who are not being paid (I cannot believe that that is even legal) and may lose their houses.

  9. It isn’t a shock to anyone that wall GoFundMe fell apart.

    Everything associated with President Trump ends in failure, which includes shifty fundraising to build the wall.

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/gofundme-border-wall-campaign-implodes-turns-to-kris-kobach-and-sheriff-clarke-for-new-non-profit

  10. Zedd

     /  12th January 2019

    After the MISINFO. that led to Bush/Blair/Cheney/Rumsfeld etc. into declaring WAR on Terror; in Afghanistan/Iraq etc.. there were many calling it ‘Lets just CREATE a CRISIS, then offer the ONLY solution’, (WAR !!) as these ‘Neo-Cons’ in fact did.. it seems that this was nothing new & old habits haven’t yet died out ? :/ 😦

    • Zedd

       /  12th January 2019

      If MrT does in fact ‘Build his anti-Terror/Drug dealing exclusion WALL’, across the southern border. who will he get to clean ALL his hotels etc. He might have to start hiring Americans & paying them a decent wage ?? just saying… :/ 😀