Free Minds & Free Markets

Immigration Debate Could Use Some Historical Context: New at Reason

Maybe both sides need to take a trip to Ellis Island.

Avalon/NewscomAvalon/NewscomFor a politician, President Trump has been unusually good at keeping promises.

One high-profile campaign promise that so far remains unfulfilled, though, is Trump's wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, the wall for which candidate Trump repeatedly said Mexico would pay.

Some design prototypes of the wall have been erected. In Texas and New Mexico, some sections of what had been a border fence have been replaced with a wall, or at least a taller, thicker fence. Trump has also cracked down on immigration via executive action in other ways—by attempting to end President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, by announcing steep reductions in a program that resettles refugees in America, by issuing an executive order restricting entry into the U.S. from certain countries, by dividing some families that arrive at the border, and by detaining some children.

Responsibility for the inaction on the wall stands with Congress as much as with Trump. Senators and representatives see it as one piece of a larger immigration compromise legislative package, in which border security funding is paired with some sort of path to legal status, even citizenship, for illegal immigrants already here.

Both sides think waiting might bring a better deal. The Republicans fantasize about getting the wall without the amnesty, and the Democrats fantasize about getting the amnesty without the wall, writes Ira Stoll.

Photo Credit: Avalon/Newscom


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