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Congress unlikely to pay for border wall, but Trump has other options. By Nolan Rappaport

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President’s Trump appears willing to risk a government shutdown this fall in order to secure funds for his promised wall on the United States-Mexico border. His prospects are slim, considering Republicans lawmakers need the support of Democrats to pass a bill to fund the government.

Trump has other options, however.

If the president is unable to get funding for the wall, he will need another way to improve border security that Congress could agree to fund. An enforcement program to reduce the number of people making illegal crossings is a viable alternative.

The program should include measures to prevent the removal of aliens who would benefit our national interests if they are allowed to remain. An enforcement-only approach would be counterproductive.

Mexico certainly won’t pay for the wall. In a leaked phone conversationTrump had earlier this year with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Nieto said, “I have recognized the right of any government to protect its borders as it deems necessary and convenient. But my position has been and will continue to be very firm saying that Mexico cannot pay for that wall.”

And Congress may not pay for it either.

The House recently approved a spending bill that includes $1.6 billion towards building the wall, but it has stalled in the Senate. Senate Republicans apparently want to avoid the very same spending showdown with the Democrats that Trump is willing to cause.


Published originally on The Hill.

About the author.
Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years; he subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years.

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  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Update, September 2:

    For a comment on the connection between Trump's Wall of hatred and humiliation against Latino and other non-white immigrants and Trump's threat to crush the hopes and destroy the future of almost 800,000 Dreamers by terminating DACA, see my September 1 Immigration Daily comment:

    Will Trump End DACA As Part of his White Supremacist Agenda, or Will he hold Dreamers Hostage to His Wall of Shame?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    My original comments follow:

    Update, August 26:

    Donald Trump has just horrified the nation and shown himself to be America's Bigot in Chief (who knew?) by his unpardonable action in pardoning the racist former Sheriff Joe Arpaio for a criminal conviction arising out of Arpaio's shocking abuses against Latino immigrants. See my August 25 comment:

    My original comment follows.

    During their Charlottesville demonstration in which an innocent counter-protester was killed, the neo-nazis and white supremacist demonstrators carried a Hitler-era sign saying "Blood and Soil", a translation of the German Nazi slogan
    "Blut und Boden".

    This was one of the slogans under which 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.

    To his, and America's, eternal shame and disgrace, Trump refused to condemn these neo-Nazi protesters explicitly, and he has still not done so to the best of my knowledge.

    What does this all have to do with Trump's proposal for a Mexican Border Wall, which Nolan Rappaport, wisely and commendably, suggests in his above article may not be the best way to deal with the problem of illegal immigration?

    Charrlottesville, with the above Nazi slogan carrying demonstrators, has everything to do with Trump's border wall.

    It was the Nazis, after all, who built another infamous Wall, the one in the Warsaw Ghetto, which walled off the Jews who were slated for extermination in the gas chambers and ovens of Treblinka.

    This is another, very cogent, reason why it would be a good idea for America's president to forget about his border wall, motivated as it is by hatred and the wish to humiliate a different group of people, not the Jewish people towards whom Trump, commendably, bears no enmity or bad feelings whatsoever, but the people of America's friendly neighbor and substantial trading partner to our south, Mexico.

    While Nolan, with his usual painstaking thoroughness, provides a wealth of detail about the planning, composition and estimated cost of Trump's Mexican border wall, Nolan also, with all due respect, misses the main point of the wall.

    The wall, i respectfully submit, was never intended to be a practical solution to the problem of illegal immigration. As Nolan suggests, there are better and more effective solutions to that problem.

    From the start, the wall (together with Trump's statement that he would force Mexico to pay for it), was meant as a symbol - of animosity and contempt for the Mexican people, especially the Mexican immigrants whom Trump attacked at the same time as mainly "criminals" "rapists" and drug dealers.

    If the Statue of Liberty has become a symbol of tolerance and acceptance to people of every race, cred and color - the best of the American spirit, Trump's Mexican border wall represents America at its worst - a country of racism, exclusion and white supremacy.

    This is the point about Trump's Mexican border wall that Nolan Rappaport is missing in his above article.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 09-02-2017 at 03:54 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    A Rabbinical Group, representing a large segment of America's Jewish communities, has cancelled an annual High Holy Days phone call with Trump out of protest against his failure to condemn unequivocally the neo-Nazis who vented their bigotry in Charlottesville last weekend.

    The group, known as CCAR (Central Conference of American Rabbis), led by Rabbi Steve Fox, said:

    "We pray that President Trump will recognize and remedy the grave error he has made in abetting the voices of hatred."

    To that prayer, I say: Amen.

    Can Trump's Wall of Hatred and Humiliation against Latino and other brown-skinned immigrants be separated in any way from his failure to condemn neo-Nazi violence in Charlottesville?

    No reasonable person who has been following Trump's campaign and actions as president would make that argument.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 08-23-2017 at 06:54 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  3. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    On August 22, the Sierra Club issued a statement about Trump's Mexican border wall with the following title:


    The statement included the following:

    "Trump is waving bedrock protections for border communities, ignoring public health and the environment, and wasting U.S. taxpayer money to build a symbol of hate, fear and racism. Border communities do not support Trump's bigoted policies like unjust travel bans or a boondoggle border wall."

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
  4. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Unpleasant as the idea may sound, we also need to consider very seriously whether Trump's constant anti-immigrant ranting and covering up for white supremacists, as exemplified in his August 22 Phoenix speech, reflect on his mental fitness to be president of the United States.

    Jennifer Rubin, a loyal Republican columnist, but no fan of Donald Trump, looks into this question in more detail in her August 23 Washington Post column:

    Trump in Arizona shows just how unfit he is.

    I suggest this column as required reading for anyone who wants to understand the meaning and significance of Trump's attacks on minority immigrants by every means available to him.

    (Sorry - I do not have a link. Please go to Google for access).

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
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