Staking his political future on an easily contested issue met with minimal enthusiasm by allies might seem like the worst possible strategy for success, but then again, something tells me Donald J. Trump doesn’t really care about strategy. Frankly, he loves the chaos created by a complete lack of strategy and pursuing politically controversial objectives. The Trump strategy is to have no strategy and to love every moment of it. It’s easy to imagine a meeting in the oval office where his people ask, “what’s the plan?” to which a smug Trump says “just win” as he walks out. Then again, this picture has been painted of him through one of the most negative media campaigns of the modern era. While he may have lost face by reopening the government, should we really be discounting the man who pulled off one of the most shocking campaign victories in political history? I would argue, even with Russian assistance, if you are so inclined to believe, 2016 required one hell of a strategy. Maybe Trump sees value in his opponents seeing him this way. On some level, my gut tells me DJT just might be crazy like a fox and his opponents should take heed, as the stakes are high, and this thing is far from over. Remember, he made a promise.
Resistance to the border wall has hinged on claims of immorality; a medieval solution to a twenty first century problem. While rushing to claim the moral high ground is a timeless political tactic, to say that attempting to physically bolster laws that regulate how people can enter our country is not immoral. By that logic, every country in the modern world is immoral for having laws governing immigration. We as a nation of means should aid those in this world who need help, that is a moral obligation most Americans feel and share, but is helping poor immigrants from third world nations really the reasoning behind opposition to the wall?
It is no secret that Latinos are a rising power in the electoral landscape, and while politicians have been quick to frame the immigration debate in terms of morality, race, and aiding the less fortunate, the truth is, this is about votes. Democrats see Latinos as essential to their future political plans, while illegal immigrants might not be eligible to vote, the perception of Latino advocacy is all they want to help build their voter base.
More sinister than political aims is labor – cheap labor. Illegal/undocumented immigrants work in the gray area of immigration status, performing some of the lowest paying jobs in society. Personnel typically accounts for the most expensive part of a business and many, including the President, have benefited from this cheap labor source. If every illegal/undocumented worker returned to their country of origin tomorrow, labor would be at a premium, businesses would be at a standstill, and wages would be forced to rise. With little ability to advocate, due to the threat of deportation, this labor source is forced to stay cheap even though they possess a serious bargaining chip that could upend the labor market.
The real immorality here is not the building of a wall, it is the acceptance of a system that encourages some of the poorest members of the global community to make a harrowing journey across miles of desert just to shore up votes and fill roles in an underpaid labor market. Can you say “exploitation?” Ok, maybe you question my use of the word “encourages.” Then what roles do sanctuary laws play: to disregard federal law to allow migrants to live and work while circumventing the immigration process? Why do we look the other way when businesses continually hire illegal/undocumented individuals? If this is not about politics and money, what is it about? Their countries of origin are not safe, you say. Well, how can they improve when the best members of their society continually flee as opposed to staying and building? That’s right, I said best. The majority of people coming across our southern border are devout Christians, hardworking, and family oriented – sounds Conservative doesn’t it? Democrats would be mindful to consider this when planning their political futures.
The wall started out as a far-right solution to our immigration problems, and most extreme right or left solutions are miserable failures; however, maybe it is immoral not to build the wall. Just maybe the opposition is not about humanity but about the status quo of exploiting the poor. DJT just might have unknowingly made the right bet for people, but it flies in the face of everything the elite want, and maybe that is the true source of opposition. Then again, do we really need a wall to fix the problem?