188

tl;dr: The wall is only an idea with lots of blanks. People on different sides of the divide fill in the blanks differently, so they end up with different conclusions. The Wall is just an abstract concept. A concrete project to build The Wall, a plan for how it would look, an estimate what it would cost, where exactly it would be located, or a clear ...


100

You can think of the treasury of a government as a big pot of money. There are various streams of inputs (taxes, fees, fines, tariffs, new debt...) and lots and lots of streams of outputs (subsidies, welfare, wages for government employees, running cost of government departments, debt repayment, public construction projects, and many many more). But inside ...


86

It's not clear to me that Democrats are opposed to border-wall construction (your one source suggests they are fine with border walls/fences where necessary), so much as they opposed to some of the plans for full-border walls that have been put forth so far. Recently, in response to reports that the spending bill would include funding for a border wall, 5 ...


68

The tl;dr is that a federal injunction is preventing the building of the wall, because it's likely that the Executive branch exceeded its Constitutional authority in trying to use the NEA (National Emergencies Act) to bypass Congress. This is how our system of checks and balances works. For those less familiar with the US system, it was designed to have ...


67

The question is complex and poses potentially a multitude of possible subquestions because there are an infinite number of possible deals that Democrats could try to make. But, in the case of campaign finance, in particular, one of the biggest issues is that the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Citizens United v. FEC, 558 U.S. 310 (2010) dramatically limited ...


64

The current POTUS is not exactly known for being a man of his word. That means Democrats cannot give Trump the Wall in exchange for a promise. They need a finalized bill, which takes a lot of time, and needs to be approved by both (majority Democrat) House and (majority Republican) Senate, which takes a lot of time and non-trivial negotiations. Things get ...


64

From your comment under the question: You don't shut down the government over a disagreement about the cost benefit analysis of something that costs 5 billion dollars. There is obviously some deeply political/philosophical objection to the wall. I think your comment is to the point. There is a philosophical objection. Mainly, the current administration ...


57

It's a polarising issue because it symbolises hostility towards foreigners, which is intrinsically an emotive subject. If you actually want to reduce illegal immigration in the most cost-effective way possible, then other methods (e.g. more careful vetting at ports and airports) probably work better; but the wall sends a visible message "not wanted here". ...


52

Forcing a government shutdown doesn't get Trump any budget for anything. It's the threat of a government shutdown with which he hopes to force Congress to cooperate. A government shutdown happens when Congress and President can not agree on a budget plan. The result is that the executive branch of the US government is unable to provide most of its services, ...


48

The main problem is getting the money from congress. The US executive has a budget plan which is made by Congress. This budget plan says how much money the President is allowed to spend for what purpose. Building a border fortification requires labor and material, and unless Trump can somehow find a way to get someone else to pay for it (good luck with that)...


45

As someone who lives in a border state, I'd like to add that the idea of a complete border wall costing only 5 billion is, frankly, ludicrous. The wall would have to pass over very rugged terrain, including mountain ranges, and solve some fairly unique engineering problems. We'd have to build miles of roads just to get building supplies to those remote areas,...


37

Here are some examples of statements by Democratic politicians and my best guess at interpretation: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called President Trump's planned border wall 'immoral' “A wall, in my view, is an immorality. It’s the least effective way to protect the border and the most costly. I can’t think of any reason why anyone would think it’s ...


35

It is essentially not allowed. States may not usurp the federal power over immigration. State attempts to regulate concurrently in a field already occupied by a federal statute have been struck down under the doctrine of preemption. In Hines v. Davidowitz (1941), for example, the Court held that the Federal Alien Registration Act preempted Pennsylvania ...


34

What are the major political barriers to a deal like this happening? All of the other answers have considered the question from The Democratic Party’s perspective. There is of course another major political barrier—and that’s that, in order to pass (at least, in the Senate), any such deal must have (at least some) support from The Republican Party. A ...


31

The problem with this wall proposal is that we already have a wall. It was built in the 1990s under President Clinton, and expanded under every President since. And the existing wall looks every bit like the Berlin/East Germany wall in sections, complete with double fencing and dog runs. Had then-candidate Trump proposed expanding this wall, it probably ...


29

In addition to the issue David S identifies: Cost. Texas has a state budget that runs about $108B/year. Cost estimates for a border wall vary a lot, but the most recent request to Congress from the Office of Management and Budget works out to ~$24.4 million per mile. Even if the state decides it only needs a few hundred miles of wall construction (perhaps ...


23

As a Democrat, here are some of my objections: Mexico is not paying for it. He promised they would; now he is demanding funds from Congress (tax-dollars). It is Impractical At estimates around $25 Million per mile, over extremely difficult and sensitive terrain, construction is impractical. A lot of the land is owned by private individuals and would have ...


22

Best-case scenario? Fox News thinks the Wall will save lives by making it more difficult for cartels to bring drugs into the USA. Middle-of-the-road scenario? Stanford put an actual monetary figure into play with its research: for every 19 cents we spend on this wall, it will give about 1 cent worth of benefit to low-income US workers. Oh, and it wouldn't ...


20

Does he not have the power, as President, to overrule the government? No. Congress controls the budget. In order to spend money, Donald Trump (or any president) needs Congress to appropriate it. From the constitution: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common ...


20

It's a very large civil engineering project. Those are nearly always late. It's supposed to be at least six times longer than the Berlin Wall, and the cost projections are in the $20bn range. There is a GAO report on the subject, which if we skip to the conclusion: DHS plans to spend billions of dollars developing and deploying new barriers along the ...


19

Here's a sampling of the arguments I've heard from people opposed to the wall. Often from people who live near the border: Walls and fences are of little value if they are not guarded. Many areas of the border have no telecommunications and are difficult to reach. Example Tunnels can go under walls. Most illegal immigrants and drugs come into the country ...


18

Has Donald Trump laid out a plan for this wall or ever talked about it with more detail to clarify what his ultimate plan and goal may be to build a wall? Trump is generally light on details. However, the wall is one of the stronger positions he has (in terms of describing a plan to accomplish it). He plans to tax/confiscate money sent from the United ...


17

Donald Trump has posted this document on his website, which outlines how exactly the wall will be financed. Background According to that document, Mexicans nationals (many working illegally) in America transfer $24 billion back to Mexico each year. Mexico does not provide a social safety net for its citizens, so this money is effectively supplanting any ...


17

I'm not trying to go full PoMo here, but meaning is often socially constructed. Anything can be politically polarizing if a critical mass of people perceive it to be that way. We could be talking about a waist-high barrier in someone's back yard if such a thing came to national attention and had some sort of symbolic weight. Think about some issues that ...


17

The border wall is polarizing because Donald Trump wants it, and Donald Trump is a polarizing figure. This is a cynical answer, but I think it’s actually more accurate than the other answers, which attempt to discuss the relative merit of the border wall as a policy. The thing is, the merit of a border wall as a policy has been whatever it has been for many ...


16

No. The campaign promise that Mexico would "pay for the wall" was in a very direct sense, with the idea that his strong background in deal-making would be brought to bear in showing Mexico the benefit of either having a wall, from their perspective, or not angering the US. A very oblique and indirect "we'll potentially have more money, and that pays for the ...


16

For funding bills, it takes 60 votes to pass in the Senate. Before the mid-terms, Republicans only had 51 votes (with some defectors, like Flake and Corker). They have 53 votes now but still need 7 votes from Democrats.


16

The obvious reason would be that it increases the emotional appeal of the wall to those instinctively in favour of it. It's a serious mistake to expect carefully planned and costed policy from campaign speeches.


14

Mostly because the Republicans hammered out a pretty hefty budget deal in early 2018 On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced a deal on budget caps that would increase investments in domestic programs and the military by roughly $300 billion over the next two years: The deal lifts funding for domestic ...


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