Update, January 13, 12:55 pm:

Sam Fulwood, in a January 11 thinkptogress.org article, goes into more detail about how the media is overlooking the real significance of Trump's Wall as a symbol of anti-immigrant racism and xenophobia, and is instead diverting attention over to trivial side issues:

Fulwood writes:

"When it comes to Trump's often deceitful arguments that there is an [emergency] need for a wall on the southern border, the heart of the matter has nothing to do with construction or the merits of concrete or steel. The wall is symbolic. It exists solely for the purpose of allowing the president to continually promulgate a steady stream of racist, xenophobic and anti-immigrant fear mongering."


The media is overlooking the purpose of Trump's border wall


Why are the media so afraid to deal with the real issue of Trump's Wall? It is nothing other than a $25 billion symbol of American hatred and rejection of immigrants of color, courtesy of Donald Trump.

My original comment follows:

The media's endless focus on superficial issues in the battle over Trump's Wall - can he really use the army to build it? - how much private land would be condemned? - are there any species of trees or wildlife that might be endangered?, etc. once again (as usual) obscures and diverts attention away from far more important issues, such as whether America will continue to be a democracy if Trump seizes "national emergency" powers using an utterly phony "border security crisis" as a pretext.

But I will leave this last question, which is beyond the scope of this comment, to historians of authoritarian regimes in other times and places, - there are plenty of examples to choose from.

Instead, I will focus on the main issue raised by Donald Trump's Wall obsession for immigration policy in the United States - an issue which most comments on the Wall tend to overlook. This issue is that Trump's demand for billions of dollars from American taxpayers to pay for a border Wall of steel, concrete, or whatever, ,which one can either see through or not see through - does this kind of trivia really make any difference? (and forget about Mexico ever paying for it - that was just another one of Trump's campaign fantasies to show his contempt for Mexican and all other brown immigrants) is only one part of his larger agenda of keeping non-white immigrants out of the United States and expelling as many of those who are already in the US as possible.

But before expanding on this point, it is critically important for an understanding of the Wall issue to bear in mind that Trump's "border security crisis", no matter how many times he and his compliant DHS and other administration officials keep repeating it, is absolutely false from beginning to end.

Yes, there is a humanitarian crisis at the Mexican border, caused by Trump's own brutality and inhumanity toward asylum-seeking immigrants - mainly vulnerable women and children - as his own DHS Secretary Nielsen has admitted.

But there is no "border security" crisis - the notion that America is about to be overrun by hordes of brown "criminals", "drug dealers" and "MS -13" members is total fiction, as Adam Isacson of the Latin American affairs agency WOLA points out in detail in a January 8 article:

There's no National Security Emergency at the Border to Justify an Authoritarian Power Grab.


Isacson writes:

"Ignoring the will of Congress, ruling by decree and using the military for domestic purposes are behaviors that we, as Latin American specialists, have seen autocratic leaders do across the region. In order to takesuch an authoritarian step, Donald Trump will need to prove in court that a national security emergency exists at the border that justifies wall building.

No such emergency exists. Let's look at five dimensions of border security: terrorism, gangs, 'spillover' violence, drugs and migration. For all five, the situation is either calm, better than it has been in decades, or problematic in a way that can't be addressed by a wall."

Anyone who cares about the actual truth of the situation at the US-Mexican border, rather than relying on pure propaganda put out for a totally different purpose, should read the above article in full.

And what is the real purpose of Trump's endless falsehoods and scare tactics about an imaginary, "Trumped-up" "security crisis" at the border? In order to answer this question it is essential to focus on the fact that the entire Wall issue is only one part of a larger agenda serving the goal of keeping non-white immigrants in every category, including legal immigrants, out of the United States by every possible means.

Let us look at one of Trump's tweets, taken almost at random, as there have been so many similar ones before and since. On July 30, 2018, Trump tweeted as follows:

"We must have border security, get rid of Chain, Lottery, Catch & Release Sanctuary Cities - go to Merit based immigration. Protect ICE and Law Enforcement and, of course, keep building, but much faster, THE WALL."

This tweet, and many other statements like it , make clear that Trump is opposed, not only to "illegal" immigration, as in the case of Sanctuary Cities, but also to legal immigration, in the form of family (pejoratively, "chain") immigration which helps many immigrants from Asia, the Diversity lottery, which benefits many African immigrants, and focusing on "Merit"- based immigration - meaning immigration from Europe in Trumpspeak.

Certainly, for Trump, "Merit" based immigration definitely doesn't include H-1B or other skilled and professional work visas which have enabled so many highly education and accomplished immigrants from India, China and other Asian, African and Latin American countries to come to and work in the United States legally. - these legal visas are now under savage attack from the Trump-Stephen Miller administration.

The Wall is only one part of this larger agenda. The fact that this agenda is based on "animus" against non-white immigrants in general was made clear by Judge Edward M. Chen of the District Court for the Northern District of California in an October 3, 2018 decision granting a preliminary injunction against the Trump administration's attempt to terminate TPS protection for hundreds of thousands of Central American and other immigrants who have been living peacefully and productively in the us for many years and make them subject to deportation.

In the decision, Ramos v. Nielsen, Judge Chen wrote::

"...the remaining issue is whether there is evidence that President Trump harbors an animus against non-white, non-European aliens which influenced his (and thereby the [DHS]Secretary's) decision to end the TPS designation. As plaintiffs have catalogued, there is evidence of such as reflected by statements made by President Trump before, during and after the TPS decision making process."

The decisiongoes ontoquotea long list of openly bigoted statements about non-white immigrants which Trump has made, not only as a candidate but as president, and then adds:

"The Court also notes that not only is there direct evidence of animus, but there is also circumstantial evidence of race being a motivating factor."

In view of Trump'swell-known history of racial remarks against non-white immigrants as president, not only a candidate, and the many other actions that his administration is taking to make it as difficult as possible for immigrants form outside Europe ("Countries like Norway") to immigrate to the United States legally. there cannot be the slightest doubt that the Wall is a key part of a larger racially motivated anti-immigrant agenda aimed at keeping America as white as possible for as long as possible.

That is what Trump really means by "border security" and "national emergency".

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law