Of the many new concepts President Trump has introduced to the Zeitgeist, the latest is “Fake News.” That is, news and facts that contradict his fake agenda. The fake Immigration crisis that he has sold to the American people, like a degree from Trump University; is that murderers and terrorists are pouring across an unprotected southern border. Build a wall, problem solved. Completely false and completely fake. Factcheck.org (a critical resource to keep a grip on reality in Trump’s fake universe) reported that “The 9/11 attacks accounted for 98.6 percent of all people killed in terrorist attacks during the 40 years [1976-2016], the report says.” That means, that other than 9/11, only 41 people have been killed domestically by terrorists since 1976. That is not in any way to diminish the values of those 41 lives, but it is directly relevant to determining the value of Trump’s Immigration policy on mitigating the risk of demostic terrorism. And as for Trump’s repeated claim that “Thousands of Americans have been killed by illegal immigrants,” there is zero data to support the statement. Politifact reports that there is no national database or study tracking how many people have been killed by undocumented aliens. Thus, he is asserting fake facts that don’t currently exist. Last year, ICE removed 138,669 immigrants with prior criminal convictions. Recall, that an undocumented alien with a single offense of DUI or breach of peace, was a priority for removal. ICE reported that in 2016, it achieved a 92% rate of removing aliens with any kind of criminal record other than a “civil traffic offense.” That would seem like a pretty good use of public money to remove the “Bad Hombres.”
So if over the past 40 years we have had a relatively negligible amount of domestic terrorism (9/11 the big exception), and ICE has a 92% rate on removing undocumented aliens with any kind of criminal record – where’s the crisis? The crisis is likely to come from the fake solutions.
Fake Solution No. 1: Build a Border Wall
In Trump style, he has a real estate solution for the fake immigration problem, build an expensive and useless structure – the border wall. The latest estimate for the cost of this wall is 12-15 billion dollars. But like a timeshare sales pitch, it fails to explain any of the fine print. The Mexican/U.S. Border is 1386 miles. Per mile that wall will cost $10,822,510.82 (Assume the likely higher cost of $15 million because government projects seldom come in below cost.) And aside from going under the wall, over the wall, why not buy a boat and go around the wall? The coastal perimeter of the United States is 4,209 (Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific). By the way, if your curious, the land and sea perimeter of the continental United States is 8,878 miles – now that would be some wall. But as for that wall keeping out terrorists or narco-trafficking rings, there is an easy work around. If I am a well healed Terrorist or Drug Lord, why not fly to the Caribbean, charter a yacht, and sail to coast of southern Florida. From there I can easily snorkel into Mara Lago, buy few cocktails on the patio and maybe fit in quick 9 holes. Refreshed from an excellent resort experience, I can proceed on to commit my horrendous act of terrorism or crime.
The Border wall is a tragic misuse of resources in the global war on terrorism. Terrorists have much easier ways to get into the United States. If they want to bring a dirty bomb, they will do it by boat or container ship. That 15 billion dollars should be invested in electronic surveillance or physical inspection operations. Alternatively, that money could be used for upgrading the capabilities of urban law enforcement departments, so that they can better assist the FBI on infiltrating domestic terrorist operations. The Wall is the tactical equivalent of investing in swords and cavalry horses at the outset of World War II.
Fake Solution No. 2: Hire 10,000 new ICE and Border Patrol Officers
Faithfully following Trump’s Executive Order, Homeland Security Secretary, John Kelly, recently issued his two new DHS Policy memorandums. The new policy to take on the task of handling our fake Immigration Crisis, will involve hiring 5000 new Border Patrol Agents and 5000 new ICE Agents. Forget the cost of this hiring, because when you have a casino mentality to budgets, the cost is a mere distraction of truth. Moreover, at the moment no one seems to have a handle on what this will cost anyway. So many calculations: salary, pension benefits, training, support, office space, equipment. The real issue is that why are we hiring so many new government agents focusing on apprehending undocumented immigrants? Shouldn’t the focus be on terrorists and narco-traffickers. If we are going to balloon spending, how about focusing on field agents whose mission is to investigate and interdict terrorists and traffickers? Do we really need to spend that much money rounding up people who merely want to support their families by picking lettuce, cleaning hotel rooms, and building houses. Immigrants who want nothing more than to work hard as hell and to pay into a tax and social security system that supports Americans, but never them. Once Trump spends our tax money on hiring agents to deport the very people who help keep the cost of food, housing, and vacations low, we are going to have to cover the cost of inflation in the very economic sectors that keep us so happy – food, shelter, and vacations. So while our shiny new Federal Agents are running around chasing undocumented aliens of rooftops and out of hotels, the other segments of our national security will struggle to keep up with the ever complex demands of tracking international and domestic terrorists.
Fake Solution No. 3: Terrorize and ban Refugees and Immigrants
This fake solution involves terrorizing and banning the very communities and countries with whom we want to develop good relations and information networks. Trumps raids and angry rhetoric will terrorizes these communities into silence and virtual ghettos, where they feel under attack and threatened. This current policy is going to cost decades of good will developed in the intelligence communities. In a recent PBS NewsHour interview Michael Leiter (Director of the National Counterterrorism Center from 2007 to 2011, during both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations.) explained the problems with Trump’s Ban ‘em all solution: “[W]e have to remember the ways in which this alienates the people with whom we have to partner, domestically and internationally. It’s the Muslim community in the U.S., which helps us identify terrorists and radicalized individuals and stop them. And, critically, it’s the international partners that we need help from in the Middle East and in majority Muslim nations who I fear will be alienated by some of these steps. How is this solution going to open up communities that might otherwise report on the bad actors in their midst. It’s not, and it is only creating the groundwork for the next big 9/11 style attack. It is fake solution to a fake problem that Immigration is making us vulnerable to terrorists.
The Real Immigration Crisis Is Trump Is Going To Get Us All Hurt – “BIG TIME”
Trump’s intellectually blind approach to national security and his creation of a fake Immigration Crisis is going to lead to a lot of hurt. Trump’s Fake Immigration Crisis is going — to use a Trump cliché — get us hurt “Big Time.” He is going to blow it on national security and create the opportunity for another 9/11 style attack. But why? It may be the subject for another post, but could it be that the Trump Nationalists want the opportunity to create a national fervor against immigrants and then to have the deportation army of a Nationalist’s dreams ready when that day arrives? One can only speculate the worse when living in a reality of fake facts and fake crises.