Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Put a Wall in the Platform

The promise to build a wall on America’s southern border with Mexico has carried Donald Trump to his remarkable victory in the Republican primary for president. Now it’s time to put that promise into the official Republican Party Platform. Many might be surprised to learn that a border fence or wall is not already in the Republican platform. After all, President George W. Bush signed the Secure Fence Act in 2006 that passed Congress with bi-partisan support, including then-Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. But in the 10 years since, the government has actually built only 36 miles of secure double fencing instead of the 700 miles authorized by that high-profile law. As a result, our southern border is penetrated daily by waves of drug-smuggling people with incurable or infectious diseases such as the Zika virus. There are even people from the other side of the globe who somehow made their way to Mexico to access the United States.

Business lobbyists and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who hold too much influence in the Republican Party, oppose a wall because it would interfere with their continued use of cheap foreign labor at the expense of American workers. In addition to tolerating the flow of illegal labor, the Chamber wants to expand every category of visas for foreign workers, both skilled and unskilled.

The 2012 Republican platform has many good provisions, including opposition to “any form of amnesty” and support for states using their authority to enforce federal immigration laws. But building a wall should be the foundation of Republican immigration policy – and yes, Mexico should pay for the wall. A wall along the border would reduce illegal immigration and cause real wages to increase for average American workers for the first time in more than a decade.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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