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Letter: Border wall is not the best way to control illegal immigration
US-Mexico border
A section of the border fence is shown Feb. 16 along the U.S.-Mexico border in Brownsville, Texas. The United States has beefed up border security spending in recent years with more fencing and Border Patrol agents. - photo by Jason Hoekema

Since the 9/11 attacks, Democrats and Republicans both have controlled the White House and Congress working annually in a bipartisan effort to keep our country safe from terrorist attack by taking on terrorists abroad while upgrading and improving our defenses at home. 

The policies and the trillions of dollars spent have been controversial with mixed results, but what can be of no doubt is that no attack of the smallest fraction has taken place since that fateful day 17 years ago in September. 

That is good news for us all, and we should always be mindful with love and respect to the men and women who work to make this happen.

An issue that has since flowered from 9/11 is how to best deal with illegal immigration. Again, both political parties with shares of control have put forth policies and solutions to handle this with mixed results, not to mention the politics played on by each side. But like no new 9/11s, there are measurable successes to show: The Border Patrol reports illegal crossings have been on a steady decline — down to almost 20 percent of what they were in 2000. FBI crime statistics show that rates of crime for all categories have also been in decline for the past two decades, and crimes committed by legal and illegal immigrants are less than those by U.S.-born citizens. There are many matters left unresolved like what to do with those in DACA and periodic surges of young people coming to our southern border.

When we ponder the recent government shutdown, we should not blame the political parties and institutions of government for creating this. No, the blame goes to the current occupant of the White House. 

The signature issue for Donald Trump during his campaign and first few months in office was that Mexico, i.e. the Mexican government, would pay for a border wall covering most of the thousands of miles the U.S. shares with that country while sparing the U.S. taxpayer from any expense. 

For two years we all saw this at rallies, debates and media events. Trump claimed he would use his self-proclaimed talents at negotiation, forcing the hand of Mexico to pay directly and not through renovating NAFTA or taxing remittances. 

Now that this epic scam is in full display, Trump now must bear this cross with his most diehard supporters by deflecting on Democrats and asking you and me to pay for a wall. Thus, our shutdown.

Democrats and Republicans have an obligation to push back on Trump’s border wall, which has never been advised by those in our national and domestic security services as a sensible, serious, solution. 

There are proven ways to reduce illegal immigration like enforcement of visa overstays, E-Verify for employers and an active diplomatic effort with our partner Mexico to improve Central America. 

Folks, the only laboratory for a border wall comes from within Mr. Trump’s warped cranium. 

Christopher E. Morgan

Gainesville

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