United States gave Mexico about $210 million in economic and military assistance in 2012. Much of the military assistance, mind you, is not to subsidize Mexico’s own security bill but to wage America’s destructive drug war. But even if all that money is channeled toward the wall, which it won’t be given that Trump also talks about doubling down on the drug war to stop the flow of drug traffickers from Mexico, this aid will pay not even for the wall’s annual maintenance cost.
But that’s not the real shame – the real shame is that Trump is fighting the last war here.
According to Pew Research Center, net migration flows from Mexico have been negative since 2008 – in other words, more Mexicans are leaving the country than entering. Indeed, unauthorized immigrants from Mexico aren’t “pouring in” as Trump claims. They peaked at 6.9 million in 2007 and currently stand at 5.6 million. However, return migration of Mexican nationals and their children is now higher than migration of Mexicans heading to the U.S.
What’s more, these immigrants are not criminals and are not disproportionately represented in federal and state prisons. To the contrary, they are less crime prone than the native population. Cities that have long been gateways for immigrants such as El Paso, San Antonio and San Diego have experienced a drop in violent crime rates.
And the 2010 Census data reveals that incarceration rates among the young, less-educated Mexican, Salvadoran, and Guatemalan men who make up the bulk of the unauthorized population is three times less than native born who lack a high-school diploma.
Donald Trump, the builder, is turning into a one-man wrecking machine demolishing the very things that have made America great: Trade and immigration. He kicked off day one of his presidency by scrapping the Trans Pacific Partnership, a pointless and stupid move that will subvert every single one his broader policy objectives