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Assault on America, Day 33: The Patriots won the Super Bowl; who will triumph on the border wall?

Patriots Win
The morning after the Super Bowl it’s evident that at least for a time yesterday there were two sides of a very definable conflict. The Los Angeles Rams played the New England Patriots in the NFL’s annual championship game and judging by the cheers and apparel choices in Atlanta (where the game took place) there were definitely partisans present in both teams’ camps. Only one could prevail, however, and no doubt the followers of the Rams are hurting today.

The other notable impasse of the hour involves the continuing congressional negotiations between Republicans and Democrats attempting to resolve the illegal immigration problem that’s plagued the country for decades.

While it was evident that fans of the two football teams were far apart in terms of their views on which squad should triumph on the scoreboard, there’s an equally wide chasm separating the two political sides in Capitol Hill committee rooms as well.

How far apart are they? Like two foes on opposite sides of a high fence, apparently. South Carolina Democrat -- and Minority Whip -- James E. Clyburn wrote last week at The Hill, “I applaud the president’s reopening of the federal government and appreciate his recognition of the need for a ‘smart wall,’ which I have defined as one that uses drones, scanners, and sensors to create a technological barrier too high to climb over, too wide to go around, and too deep to burrow under. Traditional walls are primitive and ineffective. They are expensive to build and to maintain. And throughout history—from the Wall of Jericho to the Great Wall of China to the Berlin Wall—they have ultimately failed to achieve their goals.”

Clyburn’s simple arguments would be comical if the subject weren’t so serious. First of all, walls do work, including all of those historical examples the South Carolina Democrat mentioned in the previous paragraph.

According to Wikipedia, “In the Book of Joshua, the city of Jericho was the first Canaanite city that the Israelites attacked upon their entry into Canaan. The Israelites destroyed the Bronze Age wall of Jericho by walking around it with the Ark of the Covenant for seven days. The Israelites circled the walls once per day for the first six days, then circled the walls seven times on the final day. The Israelites under Joshua's command blew trumpets of rams' horns and shouted to make the walls fall down (Joshua 6:14–15). This account from the Book of Joshua is one event in the larger narrative of the Israelite conquest of the biblical Canaan.”

So… in other words, even the Israelites needed God’s immense power to best the walls of Jericho -- first by harnessing the irresistible force of the Ark of the Covenant, then literally blowing the barriers down with their own wind -- but only after the impediments had been weakened. If the walls weren’t effective why would such measures be required? Why didn’t Joshua’s army just walk right through to the city?

Similarly, the Great Wall of China was used for a host of purposes over thousands of years (including commerce and defense) while resisting the ravages of time and still stands today. Would the Great Wall keep out invading armies with modern weapons in the 21st century? Heck no, but if the barricade were garrisoned properly it would certainly prevent unwanted immigrants from breaching it even today.

And we all know how sadly effectual the Berlin Wall was. 80 people died trying to escape East Germany during the Cold War. The number shot while trying to enter East Berlin? Zero.

If Democrats truly believe a border wall wouldn’t work, perhaps they should explain how it would fail. Border patrol agents are heavily in favor of a wall along the line between the United States and Mexico and the evidence supports them. Attempted border crossings are practically non-existent where the barrier exists today. It’s a fact. What do you say, Democrats?

Meanwhile, no one’s arguing a wall alone would completely solve the illegal crossings dilemma but it would certainly make coming here more difficult -- enough to deter those who might be somewhat less than desperate to get here. Central American parents would hesitate to send their kids ahead of them if they knew there was a giant physical barrier blocking easy passage. And some of what Clyburn’s talking about could even be incorporated into an overall strategy that includes additional electronic surveillance, stringent employer penalties for hiring illegal immigrants and working with meat packers, farmers and other labor intensive industries to see how their needs might be satisfied without skirting the law.

“Guest worker” programs have been floated for a long time, but they’d only work in areas where there’s a demonstrated lack of American hands ready to do the tasks. For too long big businesses argued “they do jobs Americans won’t do,” but if the wage price were right there’re people to step right up. Supply and demand laws work for labor just like they do for consumer products. And if you build it, they won’t come.

Are these would-be criminals really that virtuous? Clyburn additionally wrote, “There are those who are forced, by life-threatening circumstances, to leave their homes and everything they know to seek asylum in this great country. If they reach our shores, their right to seek asylum is nonnegotiable. We must make the beginning of this process—their entry into our country—as secure and humane as possible by adequately staffing, appropriately equipping, and properly managing our ports of entry.”

Really? What imagery the good congressman employs, as though illegal aliens are now storming the beaches like the grunts at Normandy on D-Day. The Nazi troops’ barriers, barbed wire, artillery and machine guns didn’t stop the U.S. forces there -- but thousands died trying to break through them.

We aren’t advocating using military weapons to deter migrants in the current circumstances but in most cases these people aren’t exactly innocent and they technically have no rights other than those Congress and the President grants them. Only United States citizens are entitled to rights-respecting treatment by U.S. authorities. Foreigners don’t have any such hope. But we give decent and humane treatment to illegals anyway because we’re Americans.

President Trump grasps the urgency of the situation and proposes dealing with everyone fairly and compassionately. And there are signs some Democrats are taking to the message. Pete Kasperowicz reported at The Washington Examiner, “President Trump got some traction in a new poll of Democratic-leaning adults who were asked who they support in the 2020 presidential election.

“The new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows the 2020 race is mostly up for grabs among Democrats. It said 56 percent of Democrats have no preference at all, and only 44 percent prefer a specific candidate. But among those who have a preference, Trump is in the mix. Trump was named by 4 percent of the respondents as their pick, making him tied for third along with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

“The top two Democrats were only marginally higher: Joe Biden got 9 percent, and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., was at 8 percent.”

Whoa. A big deal? At this stage probably not but this lone survey could indicate there’s at least one slice of Democrat voters who aren’t swayed by the gargantuan amounts of manure the party’s 2020 contenders are shoveling at them -- and may even suggest they appreciate Trump’s many accomplishments and border wall stance. Could any other Republican hope to do better?

Because the parties are so far apart on the border wall funding dilemma, there’s no easy answer in sight. Democrats won’t consider the arguments in favor of a barrier despite having recognized them in the past. The Super Bowl had a winner and loser -- will it be the same in Congress?

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