President-Elect Donald Trump promised again and again during his presidential campaign that Mexico will pay for the cost of building a wall between the two nations that would prevent the illegal entry of people into the United States. Today, after winning the election, the possibility of this becoming a reality is as remote as it was before.
A concrete wall may be erected in some areas of the southern border, but it is unthinkable that the Mexican government will be willing to foot the bill. It will then be up to the people of the United States to come up with over $10 billion the whole project may cost.
This is a high price to invest on something that is not a priority for most people, at a moment when there are talks about reducing the fiscal deficit.
A survey published on Friday by the Pew Research Center said that 58% of interviewees believed that it is important to deport more people. However, only 39% thought that building a wall in the border had any significance. Most people (77%) think that it is important to prevent people to overstay their visas.
Finally, people in the U.S. are acknowledging the reality that most undocumented immigrants now come by plane rather than by swimming across a river.
Still, this does not seem to be true for two thirds of Trump’s voters. If they were already willing to believe the “wetback Mexican” stereotype, the Republican reinforced it by adding the qualifiers “criminal” and “rapist.”
This is how the incoming Congress, pressured by Trump’s urgency and the prejudice of legislators, are willing to fool their voters, by ignoring the much-repeated principles of fiscal responsibility and making them pay for a senseless and extremely expensive project.
Thus, the southern border wall will be a pricey monument to manipulation, ignorance, resentment and fear. From what we know today, it could become the perfect symbol for Trump’s presidency.