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Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, available exclusively at

Recently , I posted here on some news about the wall being built along our southern border. Yes, said a link I posted, the wall truly is being built, although very slowly: “Miles Built: 93. Miles to be built: 509+.”

As I said, that’s awful slow, even if it’s true—I expressed some doubts. Donald Trump was elected three years ago. He was sworn in as Chief Executive one thousand and sixty-four days ago as I speak. Ninety-three miles divided by 1,064 averages out at 154 yards per day—not very impressive for the can-do nation.

At that rate the remaining 509 miles will take sixteen years, and that’ll still be less than one-third of the total border, which is 1,954 miles.

That post of mine brought in some emails, though, as posts will. One very interesting one came from a doctor who works in a town near the border over in the western sector:

Some of my patients are working on the wall. I see them for physicals and if they get injured. It seems to be a big project.

There is one group of six engineers who live in New Mexico and fly by chartered aircraft in on Sunday evening and out on Thursday. They say that the plane carries six others who live in the same area the opposite way, so work is going on seven days a week.

All of them that I have spoken to are patriots and happy to be hard at work on this. They expect to be employed another year in this zone and then to work in another—depending on the election, of course.

That’s very encouraging, and dispels some of my doubts. Plainly the Trump Administration is trying.

I’d be happier if they’d been trying those first two years, instead of playing patty-cake with congressional Open-Borders Cuckmeister Paul Ryan. Still, I’ll take what I can get.

News reporting on the wall exposes some of the legal and legislative issues that are keeping things slow. Here’s a story from Reuters, December 17th: Trump administration may not hit 2020 border wall goal, official says.

That official is Mark Morgan of Customs and Border Protection, the CBP. So what, according to him, is keeping things slow? Well, some federal judge — a Mexican-American judge appointed by Bill Clinton—has blocked him using military funds for wall construction. Plus, current funding for the wall runs out imminently.

And the CBP’s own figures, according to Reuters, show that 90 of those 93 miles already built replace existing structures.

Commissioner Morgan pushed back on that one, insisting that everything built so far should be considered new. O-kay.

The judge issue and the funding aren’t killer obstacles. An appeals court could overturn that Kritarch’s ruling, and Congress’s spending package allegedly includes wall funds.

Still: Two years of nothing … 154 yards per day … replacing existing structures … judicial obstruction … funding issues… You don’t get an impression of desperate urgency.

And this—the border wall—is just one aspect of one face of the immigration issue. I mean of course the illegal face. What about visa overstayers? What about Employer penalties? What about strategic deportations? Is anything getting done? No, nothing.


Hey, look on the bright side, Derb. If you think of our efforts here at to bring some reason and order to our immigration system, if you think of it as a job, it looks like it’s a job for life. You’re never going to be redundant.

John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Donald Trump, Immigration 
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  1. If there were a real will to block and expel, we wouldn’t need this big project. I’d like to see it built, to show that some will exists, and then to see it demolished (for ecological reasons).

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  2. I haven’t watched all your videos yet, just the Corps of Engineers one on that Tucson area section. Even if there is a whole lot of government screwing around and wastage (not the soil sampling), I can’t see that type of wall/road/electronics costing more than a coupla million bucks per mile.*

    I assume the 1,500 mile number is the length of barrier needed after very rugged impassible terrain is subtracted out from the total length. If you considered less than half of Americans as patriotic, that would be 150 million (trying to use easy round numbers) people or 100,000 per mile. This type of thing costs 20 bucks per patriotic American for the 1-time build and likely less than that in annual costs to man and maintain it.

    See “Border control vs. the interstate highway system” and “Border control maintenance vs. defending some Koreans from other Koreans”. This stuff ain’t rocket surgery, and better yet, it’s very cheap. To paraphrase those old Sally Struther’s pitches for money for starving Africans, for the price of just one cup of super vente latte extra-whip every 3 months, you can keep an MS-13 member from coming into America to kill your kids with machetes or rape your 9 year-old grandchildren. We’ll even have your name carved into the wall written on the wall with spray paint by a Mexican for free! Please call!


    * I personally think there ought to be a 2nd barrier with the road in between, bringing the cost up 25% or so (economy of scale).

    • Replies: @Hail
  3. @tono bungay

    Respectfully, Mr. Bungay,

    1) It’s not really a big project, as I wrote above – compare it to 50,000 miles of Interstate highway.

    2) Even with all the absolutely-necessary other parts, the expulsions of visa overstayers, a real moratorium on legal immigration, serious punishment of workplace illegal alien employment, etc.there are those who come right back. Just look at all the stories on murders, DUI crashes and other mayhem by illegals who have been deported multiple times already. We need the border barrier. (OK, “wall” rolls of the tongue easier.)

  4. now the elites on both the Faux-left and faux-Right both want to reelect trump because having him in office gives the Dems an excuse for not making good on their healthcare & taxation promises (in case they take the senate too)….this is why the Dems impeached trump–because they knew that it would increase his support among his base…everyone knew this a year ago or more…and yet they went ahead and impeached him, knowing that the GOP senators would not dare convict him….so why impeach him? Why not tell the Dem base that they are not impeaching trump because it would only strengthen his support among his base, and thus get him reelected?

    Same reason they are allowing trump this smidgen of wall–to save face with his base…they want him reelected!

    Why? Because all the elites want trump in office…including the Dem leaders and the media…

    and i appear to be the only person in the world to say this!!!! wtf?

    Ok, maybe i am wrong, but where is the flaw in my logic? Surely, surely surely, what with all the constant commentary on politics being generated on the web, SOMEONE else would pick up on this and speculate along the same lines as I have laid out there..but NOTHING, NOBODY else is saying this…

    as EO Wilson said, mankind truly is the primate that adopted the ant/bee/termite model of social organization…we are hive animals..and hive animals do not break from the prescribed narrative..

    • Agree: anaccount
    • Replies: @nsa
  5. “May not meet building targets”

    This may be why Trump just met with the Amish. He praised them for their fast and excellent construction work. Could he be considering deploying 500 or so of them on the border?

  6. nsa says:
    @propagandist hacker

    “Because all the elites want trumpstein in office”.
    Because all the (((elites))) want trumpstein in office….fixed it for you.

  7. unit472 says:

    Trump’s big accomplishment was squeezing Mexico’s jugular and forcing them to stop the flow. Mexico’s economy is sliding in the toilet on its own accord. Imposing tariffs on their imports would have flushed it. AMLO knew this so he buckled and put a border up between Mexico and Guatemala.

    Improving conditions in Mexico is the only long ter solution and the USMCA might do more than a wall but nothing will work unless we reform our own asylum and visa rules.

    What we really need to worry about is the Bloomberg’s, Soros’ and other Dem fat cats doing an end run around the Florida legislature. Florida voters passed an initiative allowing convicted felons to vote. Most every family has one so it seems reasonable on a micro scale but not if we want to deliver Florida in 2020. There’s a million of these felons in Florda and there is no need to explain who most of them are. The Florida legislature said OK they can register to vote but only after they pay their fines, court costs and any restitution they may owe. Since their most recent felony conviction is not the first rodeo for most of these folks they often owe thousands of dollars. Enter big money.

    A group hss been formed to help pay these fines and you don’t have to wonder who they are ‘selecting’ to help. Its not white middle aged suburbanites with a couple of DUIs. In addition the Hillsborough County Clerk of Court ( Tampa) and other officials are trying to get the fines reduced or waived for ‘low income’ felons. Trump carried Florida in 2016 by about 100,000 votes. If the Dems can raise , say, 200 or 300 million dollars, they could easily find 100, ooo negro felons whose fines they will pay off and, believe me , in return they will register them and get them to vote in November.

  8. Ron Unz says:

    And the CBP’s own figures, according to Reuters, show that 90 of those 93 miles already built replace existing structures.

    Well, I haven’t paid any attention to the “Building the Wall” nonsense, but that apparently official statistic strikes me as pretty amusing…

    Since we’ve already had a partial wall/fence on the Mexican border since the mid-1990s, merely updating and repainting it probably wasn’t the core of Trump’s campaign promise. His enthusiastic supporters obviously back him because he was talking about building new wall/fencing to cover the entire 2,000 mile length.

    So in THREE years, he seems to have built THREE new miles of wall/fencing. At this rate, he’ll “Finish the Wall!!!” in maybe a thousand-odd years or something.

    The MSM certainly tells many, many lies. But suggesting that Trump supporters are ignorant and stupid doesn’t seem to be one of them…

    • Replies: @unit472
    , @Bragadocious
    , @MOG
  9. TGD says:

    Trump saw the concrete separation wall in Israel/Palestine and since he is obsessed with all things Israeli, he wanted the USA to duplicate it.

    No matter how tall or sturdy or solid a wall is built, it can be breached.

    A better barrier would be a triple electrified “perimeter” fence with a fatal current running through the inside fence. Bodies would pile up inside, which would require daily clean out. The political class would never countenance such an effective solution to illegal immigration.

    Herman Caine, a black republican who ran for the republican presidential nomination in 2012, advocated such a solution and was castigated by the political class.

  10. “A better barrier would be a triple electrified “perimeter” fence with a fatal current running through the inside fence. Bodies would pile up inside, which would require daily clean out. The political class would never countenance such an effective solution to illegal immigration. ”

    It was good enough for The Kaiser; maybe after enough Deaths-by-Alien-Invader POTUS can build it too.

  11. unit472 says:
    @Ron Unz

    With all due respect Mr. Unz ( I voted for you when you ran for Governor) a wall is more symbolic than real. If Congolese migrants can afford air fare to Guatemala or any Mestizo can pay a coyote to get him/her into the US we need more than border ‘security. We need ‘internal security’ which means NO path to citizenship and an end to consulate employees handing out visas so they can get laid by some third world boy or girl on the weekend.

    If I could treble or quadruple my income by simply getting into another nation I’d try it too. Only by making it impossible to remain can we stop the influx and only Trump is willing to try.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  12. Ron Unz says:

    With all due respect Mr. Unz…a wall is more symbolic than real.

    Well, of course. As I’ve repeatedly written at considerable length, the whole notion of a “Wall” having anything to do with immigration is really, really stupid. Among other things, probably something like 95% of our net immigration over the last decade or so has been *legal*:

    But I think the enormous focus on “Building the Wall!!!” just reinforces my point that a pretty enormous fraction of the zealous Trump supporters are really, really stupid (or at least ignorant).

    And the fact that Trump *hasn’t* actually built any appreciable length of wall but so many of them seem to think that he has or at least that he will, suggests stupidity/ignorance piled upon stupidity/ignorance…

  13. @Ron Unz

    He never said the wall would cover 2,000 miles. More like half or 60% of that. Like Fred Reed you’re engaging in strawman tactics…

    • Agree: Ozymandias
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  14. @Bragadocious

    How is this a rebuttal of what Unz said? Trump hasn’t made serious effort to do even most of THAT partial wall, including when he had Republican majority in both houses.

    Plenty of establishment scum Republican congressmen who care nothing for regular Americans and border security, would have voted for completion of a partial or even full-border-length-wall to get those big tax cuts for corporations and the highest-bracket earners.

    Trump could and should have held the fat-cat tax cuts hostage to republican support for a complete wall along the entire southern border.

    If they didn’t, he could and should have introduced a revised tax bill that RAISED the rate on the top bracket and the corporations by one percentage point and drastically reduced rates for the middle class to upper-middle-income families.

  15. Hail says: • Website
    @Achmed E. Newman

    20 bucks per patriotic American for the 1-time build and likely less than that in annual costs to man and maintain it

    And even cheaper (free, except for legal fees) would also be fighting the birthright citizenship fraud and many, many other things.

    As Derbyshire says:

    What about visa overstayers? What about Employer penalties? What about strategic deportations? Is anything getting done? No, nothing.

    • Agree: Mr McKenna, HammerJack
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  16. @Ron Unz

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I guess. The “wall” (border barrier) is just one part necessary of the big picture, but it IS indeed necessary. As I wrote in my 2nd point to Mr. Bungay, and Mr. D. and Hail point out, there are the visa overstayers (I know personally quite a bit about this on the Chinese end), airport immigration corruption, birthright citizenship anchor babies, etc.

    No matter what you do to put an end to these travesties, you still have to make sure people can’t come right back in. The southern border is a large entry place for not just Mexicans and C. Americans. In regard to the illegal Hispanics particularly, there are people who come and go like it’s a revolving door. This allows them to behave under a very favorable alternative justice system. High-tailing it to Mexico is a nice easy out and law enforcement can’t tell Jose from Jos-B with a new stolen SS/fake ID.

    Anyway, not all American have read most of the articles written on VDare like I have. Still there are plenty of Americans who understand that legal immigration is a huge issue too. Trump’s talk about the wall is just a rallying cry, and believe me, if Americans had somebody better on this issue they’d support him. It’s not dumb to vote for Trump over, well, look at the immigration stances of all the idiots of the Blue-Squad. Bernie turned on a dime a few years back, and the whole gang has nothing against full-open borders for the whole world.

    Yes, people hold out a lot of false hope, though. I never expected much serious to happen on “the wall”. I still voted for Trump because, well did you see that sick broad running against him (and Ron Paul was not in the race)?

  17. @Hail

    Hail, see my 2nd point in reply to Mr. Bungay. I agree with you and Mr. D.

  18. @Ron Unz

    Among other things, probably something like 95% of our net immigration over the last decade or so has been *legal*:

    Do we have our insurance wall yet? So all non-citizen workers have to purchase full-market-rate health coverage for themselves and their families? So we don’t have to.

    I know Derb supports a single-payer system, but extending such a thing to destitute foreigners is madness. Unless the single payer is the Vatican.

  19. SafeNow says:

    Stupid Trump supporter here. My stupidity has actually been studied. Turned out, as I recall, that a word-matching test was used as a surrogate for intelligence. Also, it turned-out that you don’t get the stupid factor to emerge unless you control for politically incorrect group differences. And, even when the dubious manipulation is finished, the psychometricians still only managed to get to about a 3% purported dumber differential. Meanwhile, Idiocracy has become a fact of life in non-Trump areas, but not in Trump areas.

    • Replies: @Hail
  20. Onebornfree says: • Website

    The wall project is just another government scam- a boondoggle that rewards contractors at the expense of the [as always] way too gullible taxpayers dumb enough to believe that it would [if ever completed] actually prevent or even reduce illegal immigration.

    It won’t reduce illegal immigration , except possibly in the very short term [and except in
    all of the officially “massaged” figures 😂 ], simply because all government-funded programs ultimately completely fail to produce the promised results – the evidence is all around us, in our faces, second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day.

    Government programs always fail [except by rewarding the insiders, sycophants and government contractors, of course- all of whom directly benefit financially].

    And when it [meaning any/all government programs]becomes obvious that it is failing [eg. the war on drugs, or, the war in Afghanistan], all that happens is that more money is shunted its way,and more laws are made to “reform” the program and “make it work better from now on” , etc. etc. blah, blah blah, ad infinitum. Yeah, right.

    And because “there’s a sucker born every minute”, the suckers collectively continue to approve of their own robbery [and ever more government boondoggles] at the hands off their actual enemy, the state itself.

    See: “Why Government Doesn’t Work” by Harry Browne:

    Regards, onebornfree

  21. @Ron Unz

    What do you think about the deals with Mexico and Central America to restrict immigration flows?
    I heard that they are very successful.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  22. Ron Unz says:
    @John Arthur

    What do you think about the deals with Mexico and Central America to restrict immigration flows?
    I heard that they are very successful.

    Sure, I’ve heard the same thing.

    But they were meant to alleviate the *gigantic* spike in illegal/refugee immigration that occurred not long after Trump came into office, and was very likely caused by the combination of his stupid policies and comments and the huge reaction they provoked among liberals and Democrats.

    Basically, “success” for Trump means reducing illegal/refugee immigration back down to the fairly low levels they had been for many years under Obama. I’m not sure how honest anti-immigration-activists would regard that as justifying their enthusiastic support for Trump’s candidacy.

    If you take actions that set your house on fire but eventually figure out how to put out the flames before it’s entirely destroyed, I’m not sure your neighbors will consider you a great success…

    • Agree: d dan, Peter Akuleyev
    • Replies: @John Arthur
    , @Lars Porsena
  23. MOG says:
    @Ron Unz

    Is it stupid to say that replacing totally ineffective chain-link fence (“existing structures”) with a real wall qualifies as new wall?

  24. Hail says: • Website

    [Ron Unz wrote:] a pretty enormous fraction of the zealous Trump supporters are really, really stupid (or at least ignorant).

    Stupid Trump supporter here. My stupidity has actually been studied. Turned out [Trump supporters are not stupid]

    Besides being a loaded word, ‘Stupid’ is also imprecise. (As is ‘ignorant.’)

    I would propose a 3×2 box as follows, rather ovesimplified to make the point:

    1. Intelligent? [High] [Med.] [Low]
    2. Follow News/Politics Closely? [High] [Med.] [Low]

    Imagining this 3×2 box, imagine further that percentages are provided within each box for level of Core Trump Support, shifting over time.

    I would propose that by late 2018 and 2019, there has been a shift towards [Low] in Q2. In other words, core supporters by the 2019 were not unintelligent, but were unaware of how bad the record is on all the core campaign promises. I know many people like this.

    • Replies: @John Arthur
  25. @Ron Unz

    I disagree somewhat. The asylum loophole would have been exploited at some point, and future flows were becoming strongly Africanized.

    Essentially, the deals that Trump had made it that any asylum seeker first had to seek asylum in Guatemala, and since Guatemala’s standard of living is so low, it would discourage any immigration of third world people to Latin America on their way to the US in the long run, via illegal means.

    There was a huge problem with Africans and Asians coming through Latin America, attempting to get to the US, and many of them setting down in various Latin American countries after getting rejected from the promised land. This would be *incredibly* destabilizing in the long run, so it is very good that Trump is taking offical action on this, and that other Latin American countries are making reforms of there own. Mexico & Central America doesn’t need mass immigration of anyone either, especially of those from Africa/Asia. The US can’t even handle its own African and Carribean Hispanic population, how are improvished Latin American countries supposed to handle mass African flows?

    I agree that Trump’s policies played a role in the initial boost of immigrants, that is entirely his fault.

  26. @Hail

    Trump won because the economic situation of White non college educated working class voters collapsed. They are, yes, somewhat ignorant, but this is due to a general detached view of politics themselves.

    Ron often talks about on his American Pravda articles that he was misled about the true nature of many of America’s secret lies, and he was always an active participant of politics himself, reading newspapers every day.

    So I doubt Trump supporters, who generally don’t care about politics due to their general detached views, are particularly ignorant by any metric. Though those Fox News viewers are a different story altogether…

  27. Rich says:
    @Ron Unz

    Yeah that’s it, if they disagree with your position, they must be “stupid”. Can’t be that they’ve seen leftist repubs like Paul Ryan and leftist judges stop every attempt at building a wall? Can’t be that the alternatives to Trump support unlimited immigration, free health care for illegal aliens as well as welfare and affirmative action for them? Sometimes the choice is the pan or the fire. Doesn’t make anyone “stupid “.

  28. @Rich

    Doesn’t make anyone “stupid “.

    Actually, the only rational choice being frying pan or fire (or suicide by cop as an irrational choice, if you will) for generations and generations is what made European peasant populations “stupid”.

    Their masters made, for dozens of generations quite clear that being overly efficient would get them economically punished and being rebellious would get them killed — and there were lots of other disincentives as well.

    Rebelliousness was systematically culled from the herd — and still, once freed from the yoke these populations proved to be quite intelligent. I am still waiting for a biological explanation for the explosion in IQ test results in in Eire.

    Intelligent plebs are a nuisance however, from an elite point of view, hence the necessity to keep them in economic misery.

    “Uncontrolled” immigration is one way to create artificial economic misery.

    Interesting that it took nearly a generation and a half of “uncontrolled” immigration before anyone noticed the detrimental effect on the economic situation of black americans — and interestingly, welfare is blamed and immigration of cheap labour is studiously overlooked.

  29. Some contacts I know in the shipping industry say that the US domestic steel industry is going gangbusters right now, practically cranking out all the steel they can and the vast majority of it is being shipped to the border.

  30. @Ron Unz

    If you take actions that set your house on fire but eventually figure out how to put out the flames before it’s entirely destroyed

    Yeah, but if you say something that upsets an arsonist so the arsonist sets your house on fire it’s a bit different.

    It’s not right to blame someone for something other people did because he said something to provoke them. You don’t blame the homeowner for the blaze because he called the arsonists mom fat.

  31. Eric135 says:

    If people weren’t so ignorant of history (including recent history), they would know that presidents Dwight David Eisenhower and Woodrow Wilson secured the border and expelled migrants (in Eisenhower’s case, legal guest workers) without asking for permission or money from the courts or Congress.

    Trump could do the same thing. He could call the military back home from pointless wars for Israel and use the soldiers and the military budget (730 billion dollars) to not only build the wall, but profile, round up and deport every illegal alien in the country. He could do it on grounds of national security. And Congress and the courts couldn’t stop him.

    But the illegal immigration problem isn’t the biggest immigration issue. The biggest immigration issue is legal immigration, 90% of it from the Third World.

    We now accept over one million legal immigrants a year. The percentage of white Americans has declined from almost 90% to about 60% and falling.

    Couple this with all the hatred of whites that is promoted in the media and by the Jews who control most everything, and the future does not look very bright for the majority of white American citizens and their children and grandchildren.

  32. Well, America’s greatest ally ever, Israel, built a border wall that was supposedly 99% effective.

    Just as with out of touch celebrities who take their armed security guards with them to anti-gun rallies, I expect to be assured by people living in gated communities with locks on their doors, that the report is wrong and no really, walls never work.

    The 33 foot tall walls around the state prison a few miles from home don’t work either. Prisoners just uh, wait… lemmeseehere… oh, nevermind.

    The wooden fence along the back of my property that borders a forest preserve absolutely, positively does nothing to keep the deer and other rascally critters out of my yard. The fact that since its installation we’ve had no more visits from Bambi or Wile E. Coyote is completely off the point.

    The firewall on my computer doesn’t work either. This is actually someone who took control of my (his?) laptop typing this right now.

    The point is walls never work and all the evidence, especially cheap lawn care, points to that claim.

    IIWIC, I’d dig a 15’wide 20′ deep trench parallel to the wall on the US side and populate it with alligators.* I’d also bury demolition charges attached to acoustic sensors 50 feet deep to assist any recreational silver miners in finding their “booty”.

    *I’d have signs stating “No swimming with the alligators posted on both sides of the wall, in English and in Mexican. Who says I’m inconsiderate???

  33. Maybe if we spread the rumor that the the people coming over the southern border are Palestinians, then the Border Patrol will be given orders to shoot them on sight — even if they are crippled children or in wheelchairs — and the NYT, WaPo, CNN, and MSNBC will applaud liked trained seals. Hey, it’s way cheaper than a Wall, too.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
  34. What is the purpose of the wall? Not to let illegals to enter? Then the wall is useless, because all illegals can enter easily, they dont need to climb the wall or make tunnels. Look, lets suppose I am an illegal, trying to enter USA. I can do it taking advantage of the fool laws of USA. I can go directly to a port of entry, and claim por asylum, the stupid authorities will let me in to file an application, then they will send me to some shelter IN USA, and will tell me to return in 4 –6 months to know if USA gives me asylum or not. IN the meantime I will be living already in USA, with money paid by USA citizens, and the government will give me a permission to work, etc. I will never show up to know the decision of the Judge. USA can not spend money to send agents to seek, chase and capture thousands of illegals, it may take years for USA to catch me, and if they find me after 15 years, no punishment, I just will be deported but by then I already made a fortune.
    SO if there is a BIG, perfect wall, it does not matter, it is not an obstacle.
    I can also enter illegally, I can cross the river swimming or on a boat. If Border Patrol captures me, I just have to tell them I want asylum, ( I can tell some lies like “some criminals want to kill me in my country”) and they will take me to the port of entry to enter legally. The rules by United Nations say that crossing the border illegally is not a felony so USA can not charge the intruder to put him in jail. And USA, stupidly, obeys the rules of United Nations. SO the WALL is good for nothing, just a big waste of money.

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