26 December 2018

President Reagan and "the wall"

The above is bullshit.  Reagan (in 1980 at a presidential primary debate in Houston):

 “There was not any discussion at the senior policy levels during the Reagan administration about fencing or a wall that I can recall,” Doris Meissner, who was executive associate commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service during the Reagan administration, wrote in an email...

In fact, Reagan signed a sweeping immigration reform bill into law in 1986, which made any immigrant who entered the country before 1982 eligible for amnesty. “I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and who have lived here, even though some time back, they may have entered illegally,” Reagan said during a 1984 presidential debate...

“The memorable thing about Reagan is that he was a Californian,” Meissner said. “He was not anti-immigration.”

Reagan was an advocate of legal migration, and of creating legislation that increased border security by air and land through more agents, surveillance and resources. But a wall or fence was never on the table, at least not in the same way erecting a physical barrier has been proposed by the Trump administration.
Reagan's most frequent mention of any wall was the one in Berlin, and we all know what he said about that one.   I think it's time for me to assemble another "Trump clump."


  1. I know that you, O, Benevolent Creator of Tywkiwdbi, are opposed to "The Wall" (and to President Trump). But with respect, may I ask you how you think we should handle immigration along our southern border? I ask this sincerely.

    To do nothing seems terribly dangerous, since gangs, criminals, and even terrorists could enter our country (not that they already haven't!). But what IS the solution? If we say that we will allow them to come, so long as the come legally, isn't that really already the standard? It seems certain that if some of these could come legally or in an orderly manner, they would not at all see the need to try to circumvent legal entry, right?

    And so, seeking an answer that takes into account the matters that must be taken into account, I simply ask if someone can tell me what the alternative to a wall should be. Without a wall, we have to largely rely upon the wannabe immigrants to do the right thing and come in legally. That's not exactly been working for us.

    If we could help Mexico become a country that people did not want to leave, that, too, would be nice. But that is a matter that would take DECADES, it seems.

    So, again, with respect and sincerity, what IS the right answer to address illegal immigration? I stand willing to listen and learn.

    1. I'm sure you understand that with my background as an English major and a career in health education I don't have a solution to a social problem like this. I definitely would like to see immigration limited, but I think expending 5 billion dollars to build a wall is insane.

      The crux of the problem, as I understand it, doesn't really center in Mexico (as you imply), but further south in Central America. An article in The Atlantic addressed this topic -


      And this VICE article details some of the U.S.' role in creating the social instability there -


      Googling the keywords will lead to a lot more reading on those topics.

      But finding a cause and assigning blame doesn't solve the problem. It will take time and it will take money. And maybe it will take billions of dollars in expenditures, but I can't imagine that that money would best be spent on a wall in order to fulfill a campaign promise.

      I'll leave this thread open for a while to see what readers better informed than me can offer, but I'll zip it closed if it devolves into name-calling and mindless screeds.

    2. This morning's news - "Fearing for their lives, 60,000 people have fled Nicaragua"


      I'm not even going to read it.

  2. I once read a statement to the effect that "All the lines drawn in the sand in the Mideast by Great Britain after WWI have brought conflict." Another article/person said of America that "We are so large that any move we make will step on toes." Both of these sound about right. I know our "banana republic" era likely created circumstances that now come back to haunt us.

    With respect (by the way, it is nice to be able to discuss Trump policies, pro and con, without having to be nasty), I think you may have hit on something in your post. That is, yes, it will likely take billions of dollars to ever impact some of our Central American neighbors for the better. BUT, what if, at least as a stop-gap, we DID build a wall (at least in those areas where there are problems)? Some areas are just too remote to justify a wall, I imagine, and could be better policed with drones and outlying "forts" of small groups of border guards, but other areas have heavy enough illegal traffic to justify a wall, I would think.

    So, we allocate a few billion to a wall...and AT THE SAME TIME, create a plan to help Central America.

    I have a feeling that we will have trouble in this area, though. There is much corruption and tons of negative tradition. But at least in the meantime, we can control our own borders.

    Would that be something that your view might accept (i.e., building a wall in high-impact areas, but only if we are also trying to help Central American countries to create conditions that make people feel they need to leave)?

    1. Aaron, one other point. The Berlin Wall was about 4 meters high and was highly effective. Israel's West Bank Wall is about 8 meters high, and has been cited by Trump this past week as "99% effective." So why does his proposal call for a 12-meter-high wall? To keep out parkour enthusiasts and Olympic athletes? I don't need to get into the "mine is bigger than yours" psychology.

      And look how the wall would end at the ocean -


      Border security is not a joke, but this proposed wall is.

  3. I would embrace your proposal for a partial wall if it included strict E-verify enforcement and something for the Dreamers.

    Jobs in construction, meat processing, restaurants, janitor services bring immigrants here. The wall seems like bread and circuses to me because politicians are not willing to offend the wealthy corporations by forcing them to employ citizens.

    The students to whom I taught English as a Second Language were here in a horrible limbo while their parents worked in chicken processing plants in Arkansas or in construction in Texas. They live in fear of the future -- what if their parents get picked up? What will they do after high school?

  4. The issue here isn't 'the wall' or any of the admittedly convoluted and complex national policies related to immigration reform or the lack thereof. The issue at hand is simple; Donald Trump is a chronic liar, and not even a competent one. For all the trash that he talks about so-called 'fake news', the claims that he makes are so simple to debunk that literally any person with ten minutes and an internet connection can find the actual facts. Donald Trump is a bigot, a racist, a sexist, a liar, and utterly incompetent to perform the duties of his office. For those reasons alone, he needs to be impeached.

    Don't try to make this about immigration issues; those have been an issue since America was founded, and will continue to be so as long as America exists. This is about a liar and his lies. His easily-debunked and painfully obvious lies. Nothing more or less.


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