US president-elect Donald Trump has promised to build a wall along the country’s border with Mexico to keep illegal migrants out.
“We will build a great wall along the southern border‚” he told Americans when he announced his candidacy in June 2015.
He also insisted that the Mexican government would bear the costs of this construction.
While it is not clear how he plans to get the Mexicans to pay for it‚ ramping up security along the US-Mexican border is something Trump is well within his rights to do as president.
This is according to political expert from the University of the Witwatersrand’s School of Governance‚ Professor Patrick Bond.
Bond said there is already a fence along the border in places and that Trump is technically empowered to construct a wall.
“Logistically you can always build a fence on your own territory.”
What is more frightening than a wall going up is the climate of hatred Trump is likely to spread‚ he says.
“The biggest power is racism‚ which is infectious. The xenophobes and racists will become empowered [by actions like building a wall]. The main thing is the psychological effect.”
Bond said oppressed Americans‚ like Mexican immigrants and black people‚ are now “threatened by a mad man”.
Professor at the university’s Department of International Relations John Stremlau said it was impossible to say whether Trump would in fact get the wall up.
“Donald Trump has said a lot of things. The wall is one of them. But he is untested in government. He is the least qualified president in US history. We don’t know what he is yet.”
Stremlau said Trump appeared to be in poor shape to hold office‚ emotionally and morally.
“He lies with abandon. [He promotes] racism‚ sexism. [This is] not the best prelude to taking over a global country.”
The US-Mexican border is over 3 000km long‚ running from California in the west to Texas in the east‚ and is frequently crossed illegally.
Here‚ in his own words‚ are some of Trump’s plans to tackle the US’s migration issues:
· “I am going to create a new special deportation task force‚ focused on identifying and quickly removing the
most dangerous criminal and illegal immigrants in America who have evaded justice.”
· “We’re going to suspend the issuance of visas to any place where adequate screening cannot occur … countries from which immigration will be suspended would include places like Syria and Libya.”
· “We will break the cycle of amnesty and illegal immigration. There will be no amnesty.”