With just days until the government funding deadline, the two big immigration questions to ask are whether congressional Republicans can actually negotiate border wall funding and how effective they’ll allow a hypothetical wall to be.
So far we know that some Republicans are trying to gin up votes to put $5 billion toward a border wall, while the House Freedom caucus has announced a wall funding plan that also closes loopholes in the asylum process.
While it’s highly unlikely that any funding plan that includes wall funding would pass the Senate and it would be a lot easier to pass wall-only legislation through the House, it’s important to consider how asylum reforms will ultimately determine the wall’s overall effectiveness.
Loopholes in the asylum process precipitated this year’s controversy over the separation of purported family units at the border, as well as the migrant caravan. Closing those loopholes ultimately will determine whether the wall acts as an effective deterrent against illegal immigration or merely functions as a multibillion-dollar privacy hedge.
As Daniel Horowitz explains in greater detail, a wall can be an effective force multiplier to deter illegal immigration, smuggling, and other crimes against a nation’s sovereignty, but only if those crimes are treated as illegal.
If we allow nonsensical asylum policies and activist judges to hinder the enforcement of sensible immigration laws, then a border wall is little more than a final obstacle to slow down border crossers and bogus asylum-seekers on their way to near-guaranteed amnesty.