Matt, Dara, and Jane discuss what happens when engineering crushes dreams. Links: For an in-depth read on the border wall, here's a great explainer. The GAO report Dara cited can be found here. And here's the Atlantic article that Matt mentioned about the ICE crackdown
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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hello welcome to another blow to the meat on the part of cats network Matthew, Galicia, Darwin Jane posted a while back. We went to ask in Texas to Texas Tribute Festival. We didn't live, show that which we had hoped to record and release.
are we as pod cast feed? It was in fact advertised as a live taping of the box type cast the we yes, but technical difficulties prevented that from happening. So the episode was lost to the sands of time, but we had picked a good ever greenish topic the wall and were just waiting for the appropriate moment to come back and and
about an hour now, as we have a yet another stand off over government appropriations about the wall, it seemed timely. But we are going to try not to talk too much about the particularity of this congressional stand off, because I mean, I think the key point in all of this is that, like the wall is not just
or even primarily, physical objects right. Rarely if this were really a conversation about lake, exactly what kind of materials are needed and exactly where should they be built and exactly how much does it cost? We wouldn't have this recurring thing: where Donald
says Wall or no government and Democrats say no wall and like that's where the conversation
I believe that that should signal that there's something else going on here beyond the nitty gritty of policy, but I do think I use a way to start. This, though, is with some literal yet wall right and so
I had always strikes me whenever I hear arguments about the wall is that I have been
This was years ago before Donald before Donald Trump was. I was in San Diego and I went down a little bit south of downtown to the. U S, Mexico,
order where you will find a large blah this. It's it's
big beautiful, while it extends somewhat out into the ocean so that you cannot swim right around the wall. You can both
he's a while ago about, but I mean there definitely have the there. There is definitely a certain amount of border patrol interception of people who just kind of boat, or am I just you know what what what I saw starting in the ocean extending onto the land and then quite away
is into the land, to the port of entry,
and on the other side there was more wall, and then I don't know how far you could follow that I I didn't go on super built up Rachel. You literally, you know you can see the billboard.
on the other side of the border? But you can't
see where the? U S ends in Mexico begins because there
Is this massive constructed thing in the way where exact
and there's sort of theirs like this,
let mall and one part of it on the city egg aside and then there's a parking lot behind the outlet mall and then behind the parking lot. This like a big wall.
Obviously that was not always there. It was not like left to us by the ancient Jim
and as I like how it definitely rise so like how how did a law on the yours, Mexico border come to be built right? It's you
for that. We start in San Diego, not only because, in fact,
in the time since we originally did, they live punk, as an Austrian, I too, have seen, disappeared, constructed thing in San Diego else, because that's where the kind of Bee
build up at the borders started in the nineties. Obviously like the: U S, let's go border is aware
long thing that encompasses a lot of different human and natural,
go systems, but sitting
to one is kind of like it's, a twin city, bright lake, in it
that's matched really only by El Paso seed on, whereas bees
be single urban area if it weren't. You know two countries so
the problem that that posed for border patrol agents is that
Somebody who was crossing without authorization was basically just crossing a street like it would be the it's very. It was not here,
to cross and then once you crossed you could just go into a house or duck down a side street. It was not very easy to identify who
crossed illegally and to apprehend those people. So they started building
Chile, using like landing mats that, where military surplus from Vietnam a physical barrier that would make it hard for people to just cross
into this built up urban area and hide themselves wherever and that's kind of where we started.
Developing this idea, that a physical barrier, in addition to having a bunch of border patrol agents around, was going to be a useful thing.
not necessarily in preventing anybody from entering, but in pushing
to places where it was gonna be easier to catch them after they crossed and in into a zone where? I guess, if you think
by the it's like the border, absent a wall in San Diego
Do you wanna would really just be like a lie, whereas
border in, say: motive, Arizona is kind of like an expansive place
Well, I guess there's a large empty space on the? U S side of the Eu Mexico border in much of this territory and the border patrol can so to speak patrol.
area right like you can look, and if you see somebody walkin around there like, I usually sneaking across it, and you can go pick them up bright, razor and lake. You know in the Rio Grande Valley
you know. Obviously the border itself is a river, but on the U S side of the river, you have these very tall bluffs.
nicely give you a good vantage point of who wait be crossing there.
Were before they cross it less social. The original idea was, you would find a handful of places right, I'll pass so said, the ego we there's a lot of urbanization on both sides of the border construct physical barriers. They
Ere. I basically make sure that you would be funneled away from those like really difficult detection, so swayed and into other places where than they would be able to come. Pick you up more easily and that's like up a cost, effective means of sort of
during the board right which, for for a long time previously, there had been just very little emphasis on
I was. I was listening to my Duncans history, pipe cast about the Mexican Revolution and it's amazing how many instances there in turmoil in Mexico around the turn of the twentieth century. Then it's like someone just you then just go to San Antonio rare and nobody would stop you. Rightly it's kind of useful TED.
A couple of things explicit here. First of all, is that the way that this model define securing the border? Isn't no one gets cross its if you get across be catching the porter
Troll has defined borders secure.
As how many people are we apprehending? The problem, of course, is that that's really a function of how many people are trying to cross
We don't and they ve never really had robust stats on. How do you estimate how many people are successfully crossing the you're, not catching? How many people are you deterring because they're not gonna? Try like the
Things would be nice to have if we're going to talk about what makes a border secure. But that's not data that border patrol has ever developed in a way. They feel
the confidence, and that also means that, if you're defined
border security as nobody can enter the United States because we're a sovereign nation talking about oh you'll cross, but then we'll catch. You is not satisfactory to you, that's the kind of world where,
like in twenty fourteen, when we had the child, you know my
crisis and, like all of these pictures of large numbers of people in border patrol custody, the right freaked out, because the shouldn't have been
able to cross to begin with, even though from an apprehension standpoint, that's a success. The other implication of this is that you have people if you're pushing people too
desert. Some of them are not gonna, do all right and theirs
pretty robust effort out there in the desert of Arizona, too. You know try
Why, then, if I bought by Like academics and human rights, advocates to be clear to try to identify how many people have died crossing the Arizona desert as the result of in part not being able to cross
and more urban developed areas. But you rigidly context for this right was the nineties. Bill Clinton was president right in eighty six. While Reagan was a right now he saw
the big sort of amnesty legislation and then George H, W Bush follow that up with a kind of supplemental amnesty weight that I remember from
farmers, sort of exact, actually, fairness programme, re there
been this sort of under a couple republican President's this period of generosity,
and then there was supposed to be a set up enforcement of some kind as a complement to that and Bill Clinton became president. The partisan politics. Immigration was different then, from what it is now the politics of the state of California were different from what they are now right. Pete Wilson was
governor on a very immigration, hawkish sort of platform there, and so there was this idea that we are going to build up the most sort of vulnerable sectors right like the places where we most convenient to cross cause. You can just be in a nice town on the Mexico side, the buzzword be harnessed for the border patrol to catch you and also the places where I think it is most feasible.
To undertake a large construction project in the borders of an urbanized area like their plenty of buildings in San Diego, that infrastructure exists,
specially if you're using military resources, which is a longer standing tradition there,
I think, a lot of the coverage of including probably mine of the Trump Administration has realised like.
looking into attorney Jenny,
now many William BAR who was attorney general for at the end of the age, W Bush administration. Back when you know the,
J was running all of immigration in addition to everything else, the dear date, as you know, he made a big deal out of border security and
gave a speech in San Diego, where he was talking about in part the using d
who defends engineers to help construct some of this physical border barrier, which, like sandy
is a military town that makes a certain amount of sense, but it's also wrong,
we really wild here. You know to see a speech about how important it is to stop people from crossing, as we have
like as many as six million unauthorized immigrants in the United States, which was a super high estimate for how many existed in time, but is, of course you know,
maybe half of what we have right now. So something as interesting also is you. I think that you taught me this DORA is that when we talk about the wall, the smaller the wall, the more real the wall becomes, and I think that when we talk about San Diego, we talk about you. I think that there's there's house
talks about the wall, which is Trump, is talking about the wall in an almost psychological way by which the wall is YO a manifestation of the overall concept of border security. The wall is not just a wall. The wall includes fencing. The wall includes really step
up enforcement just at the border specifically and not letting anyone across the wall is the idea of the border itself. But there are also is the actual wall, the actual wall that is being currently built and strengthened, and the actual wall you, the smaller the wall.
the more the actual wala gets built. Where was it? Will I gotta? You know this is a basic like budget constraints type issue wide, but then, over the course of drudgery bushes administration. There is both a lot of unauthorized emigration to the United States
from Mexico like like a lot and a steady investment story of why that happened is interesting and we should probably Tubman separately
and so I steady investment in hardening the border in various ways. Right.
That, then, goes beyond like the simple most obvious, like you cross the street from one city to another,
you're trying to be cost effective ride like the borders giant, and so you trying to say ok at the places where it is most likely. Somebody might just walk across we're. Gonna have a wall at places where somebody's not gonna just walk across, but you could, like DR a jeep right. We're gonna have a kind of
vehicle, fencing right right, which is an I mean if you see a rather a well
don't federal, building sweat. You have this stuff, I words like you. Can its number
immigration, but they don't want you to be able to drive a truck full of explosives like right up to the building, but is fine if you walk there, so there's little backwards and things like that right there, cheaper unless disruptive
and the kind of that tension between you know hardening and budgeting like the biggest vehicle.
Or hardening under the W Bush administration. Was this cure fence act which was passed
in twenty years, Saxon mandated about six hundred,
hundred miles of double fencing and then Senate Democrats
The next year kind of looking at this ongoing that
is a lot of money and maybe not a realistic demand for all seven hundred miles that we're looking at kind of carved it out and took out the double fencing requirement. So this
is if there were more serious and specific debate happening in Congress about whether the border
has been secured to this point you
be seeing a lot more republicans, bringing up the kind of oh? Yes, we ve now build. Most of that
being required and secure fence at bite. It hasn't been too
I fencing that we originally said, whereas you would have Democrat saying well,
there was a reason that we carved that out. There is double fencing along some of this in other places. That's just not what makes sense if you are in
did. I will happily attached to the show, notes and extremely detailed government.
Ability off his report that goes through every single sector of the? U S, Mexico border. As of the beginning of twenty,
seventeen and talks about how much of ever
given sector is fenced and what apprehension rates are and there's not a superpower?
correlation there, because you know what you're
we are dealing with. Is the specifics of what, in the
as our dislike versus the Rio Grande verses and Diego by its very
It is a satisfying way to look at what action.
exists rather than the trumpet.
Illustration narrative that it is this totally law less you know you can just cross over for tee.
I think with dementias. Your friends as I think we should. We should take a break and we should start talking about the shifting currents of immigration politics because I think
That's with the wall starts to elevate out of
given that our neutrality celebrate.
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like the key semi attic turn in the wall is drudgery book
Is president they are building this staff. There is border security happening
but George W Bush is also understood by everybody to be a pro immigration president. That was like a key part of his political persona. He favoured a comprehensive immigration.
Form he would mark himself down in the Ronald Reagan trash. I think that that something that people forget you are. We ve talked about on the spot, Gus before how George W Bush, when he was running for governor- and I believe as night to ninety eight- he got forty percent of letting all vote in tax.
like where he was about to say very popular and, unlike the ten overstating the issue, but in terms of if we look back today in terms of a republican running for governor or republic,
running for state office. He did very well with non. Why well- and this is this thing- and in John Mccain, who obviously had been a big antagonist of bushes early in bushes administration, was a legislative champion of the sort of comprehensive reform legislation that the Bush administration was also for right. So there was a big realignment like Mccain building bridges with the administration that work at the spill. The bill also has a lot of democratic support. Not
perfectly partisan, sorted issue at this point. Some democratic opponents as well, but democratic congressional leaders are for it pushes for it, Mccain is for it. There is opposition and, like the boy
Part of this is not the controversial part. No right. This is all getting lake sore
based on do?
wide and expanded guest worker program and legalization for immigrants were already here and, if you're on board, with that you're cool, with whatever p
want to do on the border to make that deal had right and so, and so, like Chuck Sumer has this sort of campaign book for the two thousand six cycle for Democrats and like one of its things like we're, gonna cut illegal immigrants
Have you know they were? There was a lot of politicking around that now. You know
you really did happen just
universities of history right when twenty eight recession yeah I mean it- is fallen, proud by more than half
Mccain, though the bill falls apart and then mix
it is running for president and we
in trying to win the republican primary and was a lot of like John Mccain, proving his conservative bonnet
brave and, like one moment, along back track right, is like whom doing this kind of like cranky thing. Where he's like, let's build the damn thing
right right. It's old. This is this: is his twenty ten hours in his time, gas. Ok, as he was being challenged from the right by age, hop radio hosts to a saying how dare you
Mccain, who is a senator from our borders state, not understand the danger of the border so
Does this thing where he's walking along the border fence with a border sheriff and says, let's build a fence here, and this is seen as like at the time this
unconscionable betrayal by Mccain of the kind of pro immigration
reform aside, because he is arguing for a hardened border as if that's the solution to everything and offend seems lake.
Streams solution to this problem and I would just say that it's like its purposeful Mccain is
eyeing to express solidarity with a viewpoint that has not been reflected in John Mccain's, attire political career right so, like he's trying to he's trying to come up with something and he doesn't really abandoned,
like his old policy view that strike, but suddenly, like the fence, emerges as the saying that we have to build right and it's like it's a dang fence right, like he's impatient with the non existence of the dang fence, and it is a detachment from the question of like ok. How rapidly can we construct things on the border?
And, given the practicalities of that, what are the places where we can? You could imagine right, like german border, say people you, you might say I don't like the way the Department of Homeland Security is prioritizing such and such sector
excess. I think here in Arizona needs more whatever right, but did you
comes. This like expression of, will write that like we should cause this thing which at that time was the fence rather than the wall, but if we could make a fence material,
as all our problems will be solved, and I am saying to you, the immigrant sceptic that it is like the government is not taking the problem seriously enough that if they cared, they would have a fence here and if they had the fence here. The problem
exist, but they are betraying. Rightly. This is actually a fairly explicit conversation going on within the republican Party at this time is like this is the same.
thing but you'll later here, who marker Rubio and Job Bush saying as their kind of trying to this for themselves,
from criticism in the twenty two? Sixteen primary? It's, the argument of look. I
understand that our entire immigration system needs to be reformed, but people don't trust the government to keep the borders secure and
first thing we need to do is assure them that the border husbands,
and only then can we move on to these other things. Now. The problem with this is a that's. The exacting brok. Obama was trying from
we're Craddock site in his first term, but be
at the same time that John Mccain is being built, rang, fence, Arizona
urgent? Brewer is talking about how
rents are crossing and murdering people, and everybody should be terrified, so there's there
political entrepreneurs in the Republican Party, who have a very strong political incentive to make
seem like everybody is immortal peril. All the time
which is not the lived experience of people who are actually on the Arizona border or for that matter the rest of the? U S, let's go border, but is very powerful for what
people in Arizona, some of whom didn't go
up in Arizona but like move. There is part of the sunbelt migration who are tariff.
I'd that someone will come across the
order and then go another hundred miles or so and it fell near their heads will be on a peck. Yet it's funny to me that people talked about Obama and George W Bush as being in relatively soft on the border when they basically kept trying the exact same things that now the idea of
virtual wall, more efforts being s behind net, which you know there is this whole idea like this virtual wild with cameras on security security from two thousand six to twenty eleven. It failed to cover fifty three miles and cost one billion dollars which the breakdown of that is not good. But it is interesting to me that in TWAIN ten, twenty eleven twenty twelve, this idea that again
it's not just immigration, its immigrants coming and then committing crimes and the government is doing enough and then, when the government is doing something whatever its doing is not the right thing to be doing, and so I think that I made this point before and I'll make it again that the border beak
eight psychological phenomenon. Yes, it is what the executive in your symbolic site, exactly where it became not an actor you, the actual breakdown of how to deal with the border became. Yet when we talk about like secure front the secure offence act, there are still more than ninety cases tied up in court having to do with the eminent domain claims ten years later. That's not what people are thinking about when their thinking about the border to thinking about the fact that the border goes through people's farm land goes through someone sheep and that they are going to want to a not have the border go through their farmland and be be compensated if it does, but again it's this site of so much focus from, but not in a way. That's about like the real politics of how the border works, but, based on this idea like, if we do these things, everyone will be safe from this thing that could happen
record one of the ways in which the Trump Administration is actually making progress beyond the kind of stalemate that there's a girlfriend stuff had been and is successful. Eminent domain like thereabout to start bulldozing about
I sanctuary of love really have because this
cream court rejected and environmental lawsuit about, you know that use of of taking for effect for the purpose of buildings.
barrier veto. It gives an interesting so to turn here right now, we're talking about like the war as a symbol right and the Obama administration might in its first. This strategy and immigration was very much built around mass voter psychology, rightly they wanted to say taking advantage of the sort of momentum behind Bush era increases in funding plus the way the recession naturally induce
a decline in the number of people crossing the border. They wanted to be able to do some stuff and then say as a result of this stuff. The border is now secure right and then they wanted to say. Having secured the border, we now want to have a humane and economically reasonable solution of the problem of the eleven million long settle, resin swayed to what they did was like the opposite of a million photo ops of
Wall Construction sites at random places in the southwest straight, like they actually substantially stepped up. Interior enforcement in the United States and the pace at which removal orders were being processed and executed went up quite a bed. There were a lot of back and forth was activists, groups and a different times. They would yell at me for not praising them enough for having secured the border so
ash yell at me for saying they had removed to many people, but there they were like trying to do something right,
all political theory of lake how you build. It was the opposite of a while it it was like another.
Of the ones we assure people rapid. Instead of talking about we're trying to assure the republican base, it was weird demonstrating to republican political elite,
there were serious and that'll? Bring them to the Tibetan mean an alternate path that we could have walked out would have been to say how would Donald Trump think about this question of like demonstrating to be bar seriousness
the border and, like, I think we're Donald Trump, would have said to the right tone.
Around with immigration courts, unlike removal orders and Bob Bob, I like build a giant big
beautiful wall on the border and like call at the Obama Wall and ask for
four billion dollars for it in the stimulus and when Republicans and want to spend,
how much money like complain that these, like tightwad conservatives, are not giving you the money we need for the security and like
take photos of yourself cementing breaks into the right like make a visible, tangible symbol that people can project their hopes and dreams and fears onto rather than this policy want, o the actual bottleneck in removals. Is this thing
the courts and if we get an extra judge Bobby above a large Inferrin is the it took them a while to do that. To you like the reason that the current immigration,
Backlog is so bad is because it took until the end.
The Obama administration for either
administration or Congress to realize. If you wanted to set up
migration enforcement by funding the age ass. You we're just gonna, create this bottleneck in d o j, and so we now have a situation where early there are over
hundred immigration judges appointed by Jeff sessions. The president, who really really really want it just like a symbolic totem of toughness on immigration, was Barack Obama
think of all the different people in this narrative. Like Reagan, Bush Clinton, other Bush Obama,
I'm the one there whose strategy like pivoted crucially on sort of meaningless symbolism, was, in fact, Obama who like had a policy objective, but like had a political strategy for obtaining that objective.
kinda critically on a kind of symbolism, and they didn't really do that.
Was a time when you did not hear a lot from the present. The United States about fences are walls or, or things like that,
and it's an interesting turn on trumped because like Trump is obsessed with the symbolism of the wall and we hear better off
time from him, but he's a musicians also like pushing eight million like real lovers, an immigration as well. If you just like, never mentioned the wall again, there will be a lot happening that immigration policy. It does mean that the Trump administration
he's in a weird position, because it is simultaneously pushing the wall as symbol and the wall is reality.
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I'm gonna go era, listen to the cut on Spotify Apple or your favorite podcast app in October. I sadly could not make it to this, because it was like a two hour drive from San Diego, where I was at the time, and I decided that it was not worth
tending the ceremony in person? The Trump administration had a big ceremony where they commemorated the completion of the first section of trumps wall, and there is a plaque there. That says this is the first set completed section of the trunk wall,
and apparently no from from folks who were there. The actual wall looks kind it
do you like it? It's not. You know this thirty foot
grew all it doesn't have Trump in big gilded letters on you know it's not the kind of thing that you were picturing when Donald Trump was getting all of these huge rally: crowds to chant, build the wall
Part of the reason for that is that its operate
Nine past appropriated funding, but part of it is that
administration is trying to build something that is practically useful and there's a big difference between
and the symbolism of we're gonna
a wall that prevents anybody from getting into the sea. Like I mean that simple view of this right is that, like the border patrol for boring, practical reasons, once we see through the wall because they want to see what's on the other side of the wall,
by any legally dont want. You know it from from prefers to. This is like oh they're, gonna, just throw drugs over the wall and it's gonna hit border patrol agents in the head. Knock them out. That's not really what
happens but, like you, do want to be able to see people coming and if somebody
gonna be trying to throw something? Oh
or use a drone tat lake deliver drugs or something like that, you want to be let us or whatever, if there's a crowd of five hundred people and their staging some kind of something right
like. Maybe it's just political theater, but you just you want to know
why they want a situational awareness of what's happening in Mexico and
there are a million little instances of this where it's like. The idea of I would like a gigantic impenetrable all runs up against like ok, if your actual actual job is to catch people trying to sneak across the border.
What do you mind and you know, there's a little things rightly, a lot of these areas like relatively empty, its relatively impassable and like you, don't want to do giant construction projects in places where nobody is coming
the way that you would build the access roads that would actually make it easier to cross the border into that psych boring, and it's not like Donald Trump thing personally to think about boring stuff, but I mean there's always make this went, but like immigration policy is a real exception to the slipshod nature,
of trumps policy, make the people doing their staff. I mean when John Kelly and Nielson and Stephen Miller and- and you have surgeons are well informed about immigration policy. Trump is networked in with the unions representing the people in these things so like they really are doing stuff, but it isn't an exception to the element of trump we're, like you just says, stuff rate the Trump wall, as it was talk
bowed before Lake February of this year, like they ve, since they have since kind of embraced the idea that any wall getting built is Trump Wall, which is pretty obviously where they were headed the whole time, but into
seventeen and early twenty eighteen. They made a big deal out of. They were building the prototypes for like this new wall. That would be Trump Wall and the request for funding for those prototypes started out by asking contractors to put in bids for a concrete wall, and then they
added ok. We will also ask forbids for some kind of alternate.
materials wall, anything that isn't concrete and they ultimately selected for concrete and for alternative prototypes, had been built in the desert outside San Diego, had them tested Trump
talked for awhile about how they had like the toughest Marines, and then the actual Marines were saying we weren't involved in
resting there's like it was weird thing: the government,
Billy Office, put out a report later this year. That said, that of those eight credit
Perhaps most of them had substantial construction challenges. None of them could be built on the slopes that would be required for an actual wall, at least one of the prototypes. I think one of the concrete prototypes couldn't be built on any slope whatsoever, but this hope
says was the result of somebody trying to kind of back feel. Ok, what is Donald Trump said he needs from the wall. How can we require that and in a real way, and so be in the original standards? Were things like you shouldn't be able to drill through this? Even if you try
for ninety minutes. You know you shouldn't be able to tunnel under it for ten feet. You shouldn't be able to scale at things that if it were possible to
would be very impressive indeed, but a parent
he wasn't in fact possible to do it's funny how engineering can get in the way of dream, so very often so sad,
then the law migrates to Congress, where this is become this kind of thing where we keep having this stand off, and it's never is ever really that clear to me like what is going on here right because part of trump getting himself so wound up about the wall. Is it now Democrats are like
he opposed to the war re right is, I mean, I don't know dairy like you, probably talkative immigration activists and look what is up with the swag cause? It's you hear some other trump things: words like ok, trombones, a crackdown on immigration, so he is takings, tiny babies out of their parents, arms and throwing everybody in jail, and so you can see why people would be mad about ride like these is cruel. Trump is deporting this dad who has been in the country
for fifteen years because he had a parking ticket seven years ago. So, ok, I mean you see why Trump is doing ever. You ought to see what your bike- oh, no, this sucks unfair right. So what
the wall like who cares so there there are few friends here. I won
was building even under the Obama administration is the idea that it is politically cost free to just build up the border as
on into resistance from border activists like,
Pesa. Whereas you talk to people who are from that area and they'll say yeah, you see, we can just like go shopping in war as for the day and come back and it was no big deal. People cross all the time now. It's just. It really does feel like two separate places. It's just too difficult. There are too many border patrols. It's not just like at the border,
also kind of in our towns. New Mexico has a lot of activism around like
there are so many border patrol agents here that it feels like our own city is being occupied. The militarization of the border for people who live there is not a cost free faintly. You have lots of internal chat
once in taxes, and you know that's having these resources, for this is a political difference between Texas in California, re re absolutely, and so you know that
there is this kind of strand of south
western progressive activism. That starts calling Democrats to account.
in twenty thirteen. When the Senate finally path its comprehensive immigration reform bill, it was because of a deal that would give a ton more resources for border security and progressive groups were really talking about
You know it was seen as a really bitter pill to swallow so
we're already having that movement even pre Trump and then tromp makes the wall his big thing, and that creates
the incentive to denied from the thing that he wants and so Nancy
the and Chuck shimmer go into twenty seventeen saying we're not gonna give trump anything, he wants
we especially aren't gonna, give him the wall which becomes the focal point, even as the Trump Administration diversify its demands, and this is in I've talked about this on the pod cast before it continues to be. The big truth of the Trump administrations dealing with Congress on this issue is that they just can't pick a demand and stick with it. They keep. You know doing the Monty Python Spanish Inquisition thing where they just add things to the wish list, but even at the point of the debate over Doc, where it seemed to basically everybody
outside the room that the easy political win win deal for both trumpet Chuck Sumer was give whatever money for the wall and legalised Docker recipients. That would have been a things that shimmer would have had to finance because he had sat on the record so many times no wall, no all know all now. Of course, we now know that he was prepared to do that and it was
John Kelly, who you know did not allow that to happen even after from agreed to it, but that's kind of how you have the wall becoming this big symbolic problem. It's
There is a broad symbolic: we don't want to become a country that is sending the message to the world that we won't take. Anyone in this runs into a kind of a much bigger policy problem of the problem we have at the border right now is not a problem of people coming in without authorization and then absconding. It is a problem of more people, largely families.
largely from Central America coming in and in large numbers seeking asylum trying to start the asylum process in larger numbers, then the Trump Administration is able to process them. That's a matter
international law. Even if you have a well you're going to have people being allowed to come in at ports of entry, including people without papers and so frustrates both the kind of policy argument. The Trump administration is
This is why we need the wall, because a lot of the people who they're talking about would still be able to come in and the symbolic argument the Democrats are making about like a. We don't want to be a country that is shutting out the rest of the world because in theory a wall would have to coexist with a robust asylum policy and the wily administration doesn't appear keen on doing that. It doesn't appear keen on doing the robust asylum policy part either. Wait Amy me to that point made its like the classic Trump era. Dispute about immigration does not involve people who are successfully sneaking past the border patrol and the border patrol needs to get better at catching them. It's a family with children may be going between the ports of entry because the ports of enclosed, but then surrendering themselves voluntarily to border patrol and saying I would like,
to make an asylum claim. So trumped isn't like that. That is happening right, but like there, there was his this little girl who died this morning, and is that when I left less last night work, this is that the story that people are talking about now and the whole point of that is that they weren't caught by the border patrol right. Like you go across me, I should train of fine border patrol because that's how you would make your asylum claim and the question that the Congress, the Trump Administration, the political systems dealing with, is like what do you do with people like that in a world where there is a large number of them, it didn't used to be an increase.
They controversial situation because you didn't used to be a lot of people doing right in a wall. One way or another is not a second dress, there's which I guess is fine for Democrats to make as a point from alike, ha ha ha. President Trump like the wall won't, do
what you want, but also Democrats don't want to do right. What would you
Its debts were the distorted. The problem becomes because, like Democrats, dont want to make like big legal changes to the asylum system, either
and there is a much more that's like how darker turned into a stand off about these big changes to legal immigration
and that's like the real disagreement and now there's this side show right dispute really about while funding, which in part is about. How do we characterize the one point six billion, though I think it's interesting also because I remember- I think this was a couple of months ago, but it was a discussion about trimmer and about before the mid terms. How did possession democratic messaging midterms every twenty twenty one of the arguments is like
you bring up the fact that Donald Trump promised a wall and you aren't getting a wall when one you sort of forgetting the wall and two Democrats dont want the wall, and I found that that such an interesting conflict, but I do think that the fact that ill in the most recent meeting between net suppose you touch humor and Donald Trump. You saw both policy and humor very much saying you. This kind of funding is not going to happen in the way that you want, but I also think again more we're talking about border security. This issue has been going on for multiple administrations, but now it's another issue and
conservatives. Talk about this lot that leg Donald Trump has made Democrats love federalism. Donald Trump has made every one love the FBI. Donald Trump has made everyone like love, federal prosecutors and because Donald Trump is now he has tied, does entire self entity to the idea of border security and issued that Obama tried to deal with that
you saw Clinton had to deal with. He has single handedly made border security and specifically the idea of a border wall and anathema for Democrats at. I find that it's really interesting to see how like the language of that, the very
Concept of a border wall has shifted in the imaginations of Democrats as well. Yet, although I mean it's interesting to me that like,
walling started in San, it started under democratic administration. That wall is still there
as far as I know, the Democrats who run the state of Virginia not agitating to get rid of it right like
There is an actual difference between this. I'm gonna get the words were on, but there is this like there's a culture in New Mexico and Southern Texas right that is like an indigenous mexican culture right away, the kind of wheat and crossed the border. The border crossing is adding and their exactly, and so there is a politics in the dim, obviously, taxes republican state, but in the latino democratic parts of Texas and New Mexico there is a real politics of. We want to have an integrated cross border community here that people
and come and go across relatively freely and that we see the United States as the United States, Mexico as Mexico, but also like Laredo, Unwavering Laredo, are a community together right
Oh that's been complicated a little bit in the last few years as lake the situation on the tax. A side of the Texas Mexico border is totally cope. Ascetic and the situation on the mexican side is.
Often not super right, but I mean those members right, like are the people who were the original, that, like house member from southern
actions were like the original, like, let's not just, give infinite money frame, border militarization his eyes. The first context in which I was aware of better work, for example,
Where is like? That is just not. I don't know like that.
What sin Diego is culturally
It's a city with it, with a spanish name, that's very close to the mexican city of Tijuana, but politically and in demographically sinned, egos very different from El Paso or Brownsville. It's it's. A much lower latino population has more people descended from asian immigrants. White people who have come and elsewhere are very big and in the suburbs of San Diego, it's been more politically conservative for the past generation or too so it doesn't have the same kind of political context of wound the border and the
meaning of separation from Mexico, as you see in some of the Texas border cities, but it is constantly changing like there is now like a whole border economy in Texas, like a border enforcement economy, that there was a good at lanting story and where it was that the mayor of one of the Texas border towns is like well officially am against others. Detention by actually this detention centres really important to us, the the other
side of the local politics. Of that, though, is that Santiago does rely on cross border trade and lake Quota in what are called like legitimate trade and traffic
so the existence of a functioning port at San Pietro is super important to the point where earlier this week, the commissioner of Customs and border protection was testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee and Koala Harris of all the things that you
noted Senate Progressive Khumalo Harris could be asking a Trump administration. Immigration official about was asking him how much business was it estimated, the
ass lost when you guys had to shut down the port of entry for a few hours on the afternoon when, when border patrol agents launched here goes over the border,
That's not what you would expect Kemal Harris, progressive hero to say sure it's what you would expect Kemal Harris, California Senator to say, because that's me
your concern for local officials and business kind of in caliphs,
in Texas, both the don
Tromp seems super eager to just shut down the border. Like
he's started. Using that phrase a lot more, he expressed frustration with
Christian Nielsen when she refused to do it earlier. There
spring he's kind,
made a lot of noise, is that have made business leaders very upset because shutting down the border isn't just building a wall between ports of entry. What is shutting down ports of entry as well, and that is both an absolutely
just tickle nightmare, and the kind of thing that, even if you free
it is going to make business leaders very worried. It's also probably gonna massive violation of international law, given the can
with asylum flows, but you know even
even setting. All of that aside, Donald Trump clearly thinks
of the border as such, a symbol that he thinks it is an open or close twitch, and if it's not too,
we closed, that it's totally open and that's unacceptable, and this does appear to pose
problem, not just for his enforcement agenda, but for the idea
of the border as a place where anyone could cross in any circles everything this also. You know the point as rose made in an article about this. Is that, like sometimes in politics, you have things that you really want. You know I mean that's like ok, my pet project is this reform to how such and such works and the way you can tell that a polish wants that so much is that they are willing to make a lot of offers on other subjects in order to get their way on their key priority right and the war is just not a top trump priority in that sense, right, like
Trump he's not going like through his emissaries to the democratic leadership and being like hey guys like how can we get this wall built right and he's?
we're not going round the leadership. A bright he's not going to Patty Murray and saying,
Why are you running chucks humor Yankee around about this stupid wall, like as five billion dollars, is not that much like what can I do for you, Senator Murray, that we'll get you on team
right because events are, you would get it done. You dont want to be
a billion dollars. That's how much money I would love five billion dollars
in the scheme of things right, close it and can get a five billion dollar operation if he wants to, but he has to try
and has to like it dialogue with people engage. But the metaphorical wall is like not a compromise of all national. I think that that of impacting those negotiations and undemocratic side, because giving in to the U real deal actual funding for a border construction is, in fact giving in to the trompe l concept of
border security- and that is not something. Democrats want to do, but also Trump can't quite afford to win right because one wing yeah what's it yet all you got the car problem, yes and which is the one of the great quartier I've brought up. I think all of us about up it's one of the great issues of politics is that if you have a thing that you ran on, you actually can never
chief the thing that you ran on. If you ever really want to run again because saying we did the thing doesn't work
surely as well as we will do that. But I think there should be more specific rights who, like one thing, Trump says all the time is that we have drugs pouring across the board, which is sort of truth.
And then he also sports events are right, that we need the wall to stop the drugs from pouring it right, but the war will not stop the drugs importing and because the drugs
not sneaking around right. They are like in the trucks they go across the border.
Because, for the same reason that legitimate commerce goes in trunks,
Just you can't move that much stuff than when it areas and there's a simple trade fright like we could say, every single parcel that comes through the ports of entry has to be subject to an incredibly invasive surge, but they'll be huge. Painting, immigrants, but right like come,
would shut down. Tourism would be incredibly annoying and no administration has actually wanted to go. Do that as well.
Is the wall isn't there from can keep saying that the Democrats are responsible for that? No coming cross the border, but it isn't true. So like Democrats, giving in to him on this point, will simply put this coal question of quantum quote. Shutting down the border like much worse,
squarely in his face and you can imagine a world in which you know Democrats see it that way, but it's a bull.
both sides want to have this fight about the war I think on from side, because winning would not really help him anything on Democrat side because they don't really want to address what they think about the asylum question right. This is,
The problem is- and this is something that I say all the time. The immigration
Dayton America. I is usually factors sophomores for values. The problem
is that right now, the symbolic conversation that we're having about what kind of country the? U S wants to be while it is the most important and fundamental question for figuring out what kind of immigration policy we want doesn't obviously led to
The answer is that are going to eat out, improve the parts of the system that are not functioning at peak capacity. Now the kind of good government by
partisan interests in, say, appointing more immigration judges doesn't,
we exist in. How do we?
Move processing at ports of entry for asylum seekers. How do we expand capacity there? How do we make sure that people are going legally to ports of entry and that they are not being turned back and told to wait for indefinite amounts of time, which is what is happening at ports of entry? Now
In those are theoretically good government questions, but for that to get a dressed as a kind of an immediate capacity,
then the administration would have to be ok with changing
that, in a way that's going to allow more people to come into the- U S, who may not ultimately have their asylum claims approved, and that's really what they're trying to prevent their argument and as a policy argument
is well, many of them will abscond in the? U s because we can't detain them for the whole time their asylum claims are pending, but the political argument is, they have done
and border security, as nobody gets in you shouldn't come in, and so the difference between
buddy being allowed to cross and then ultimately being ordered, deported and somebody say having to wait on the Mexico side,
is actually a really big, politically important difference. In addition to being a question of policy and capacity, so that, Inter connect
didn't this of the departed
system that are an obvious crisis and the parts of the system that the administration would
wouldn't be willing to change, is what makes it so difficult to have ass a policy conversation about this. Even if you take Donald Trump out of the equation- and of course you can't take down
out of the equation is every couple of morning so log onto twitter and say something about how the border needs to be shut down. With that maimed terms, shut down the path cast,
get ultimate security here
around the studio builder built build a wall
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Transcript generated on 2021-09-11.