Forget about a border wall – Trump and Congress should agree on these immigration policies that work
But let’s get real: There are already more than 650 miles of barriers on our southern border. Building a wall would not address needs such as: more robust training for the Border Patrol; new infrastructure and additional personnel at ports of entry; physical barriers where they make sense at key locations along the border; and a border policy that strengthens commerce and our nation’s economic competitiveness.
The truth is that far from there being a crisis on our border, unauthorized immigration is actually down 13 percent from its peak in 2007.
Instead of demanding his wall, President Trump should demand that Congress provide the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations – which oversees immigration and commerce at the country’s 328 ports of entry – with funds for more staffing.
CBP is short at least 1,100 officers at ports of entry, the Government Accountability Office reported earlier this year.
A wall won’t halt the flow of illegal drugs at ports of entry. Despite what the president tweets, CBP statistics show that 81 percent of hard drugs intercepted along the southwest border between 2012 and 2016 were seized at ports of entry.
Last year, CBP seized 118,021 pounds of cocaine, heroin, meth and fentanyl at ports of entry, compared with 20,000 pounds seized between ports.
In other words: you can build a wall to the sky, but it won’t stop drugs from getting into our communities.