At his turbulent news event last Wednesday (I won’t dignify it by calling it a news conference), Trump reiterated that he will build a wall along the Mexican border. “It’s not a fence. It’s a wall,” he said, and “Mexico will pay for the wall.”
Here are 6 reasons why Trump’s wall is an even dumber idea than most of his others.
- The U.S.-Mexican border is already well defended, and a wall won’t improve the defenses. The United States now spends $3.7 billion per year to keep some 21,000 Border Patrol agents on guard and another $3.2 billion on 23,000 inspectors at ports of entry along the border, a third of which is already walled or fenced off.
- The cost of Trump’s fence would be a whopping $25 billion on top of this. That’s the best estimate I’ve seen by a Washington Post fact checker. (When Trump discussed the cost last February he put it at $8 billion, then a few weeks later upped the cost to $10 to 12 billion. )
- There’s no way Mexico will pay for it. On January 11, Mexican President Enrique Peña assured Mexicans they would not be footing the bill. “It is evident that we have some differences with the new government of the United States,” he said, “like the topic of the wall, that Mexico, of course, will not pay.”