Commentary: There are alternatives to the wall

In response to Armand Carreau’s commentary “Who’s lying about the wall and immigration?” The answer; neither side of the issue. It depends on how you want to manage the immigration problem.

We have a president who demands a wall in the “interest of national security,” $5.7 billion for the wall and he has added another $8 billion for border security. His $5.7 billion builds only 247 miles of a 1,300-mile border.

Then we have Republicans and Democrats who have passed bills in both Houses, which the president originally agreed to sign, offering $1.5 billion for security defenses, adding more personnel, modern technology, and equipment, which would enhance border protection along the entire 1,300-mile border.

Frank Calio

I choose the latter. Times have changed in warfare; no longer are boots needed on the ground when you can locate your enemy, fire missiles hundreds miles from your target.

Mr. Carreau speaks of walls so short you don’t need a ladder to climb over. Perhaps he missed a TV report showing immigrants climbing over a much taller wall with a tall ladder, and video showing two 75-foot tunnels and one 35-foot tunnel that was dug UNDER towering border walls. One photo showed a hole that had been cut through a steel wall.

He blames Democrats, while in control, ignored building walls, although walls are being built as we speak. Democrats pumped money into technology. What he failed to mention is illegal border crossings are down, significantly. In 2006, 1.6 million people were apprehended trying to cross the southern border into the U.S. In 2018, a result of Democratic spending in extra border patrols, and added technology? Less than 400,000. That’s not just a decline, it’s a significant decline!

The countries along the southern border ARE safer now contrary to what the president says. According to Goggle, Fact-Check and other independent studies, the crime rates in U.S. border counties are lower than the average for similarly sized counties, with two exceptions out of 23 total.

Yes, we must continue to address undocumented immigrants sneaking across the border undetected, and follow up on those who overstay their visas.

The $13 billion Trump wants for his wall and border wall security could go a long way in feeding our hungry, housing our veterans and shoring up our health care system. And will he hold government hostage each time a budget bill comes for renewal?

My father left his native Italy and worked his way, 3,000 miles doing various jobs to achieve his American dream. His alternative was to join the Mafia and never have to work again. He just didn’t know how long that life would be. He finally landed a job shoveling coal on a freighter, which landed in San Francisco, told the guard he had an errand to run, and never returned.

Yep, my dad was an illegal immigrant, adopted his country and was a proud American and a productive citizen.

All immigrants aren’t murders, rapists or here for the benefits. U.S. citizens are the leaders in those crimes and benefits. Most come for a better life, one we have but sometimes don’t appreciate.

Frank Calio is a lifelong resident of Laurel; former director of Sussex County Industrial Park and Airport; and former Delaware Commissioner of Elections.

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