By Raoul Lowery Contreras
“Looks like Jerry Brown and California are not looking for safety and security along their very porous Border. He cannot come to terms for the National Guard to patrol and protect the Border. The high crime rate will only get higher. Much wanted Wall in San Diego already started!”
— April 17 tweet by President Donald J. Trump
Once again, the President of the United States has no clue about what is happening on the border or in San Diego and, in fact, has no understanding of the history on the border and, lastly, no idea of the difference between a wall and a fence.
After President Trump complimented California’s governor for announcing 400 California National Guardsmen would join his “troops on the border,” the President is now whining that “the high crime rate will only get higher” because California will deploy those troops statewide and not, as Brown put it, to round up “women and children.”
One word describes the Trump “troops on the border” initiative: “fraud.”
According to reports in the Washington Post and the Associated Press, two federal government officials told reporters that the initial jobs for those troops Trump thought Brown had ordered to the border were “fixing and maintaining vehicles,” watching closed circuit television monitors on the border, operating radios and providing “mission support” such as “clerical work, buying gas, and handling payrolls.”
The program is worthless, does nothing to plug any gaps in the border, arrests no one and only costs lots of money.
Another area that the President fails at is in his pronouncements about a “high” crime rate in San Diego. Perhaps he refers to how he has been treated in San Diego federal courts where he has been forced to settle huge lawsuits and pay out millions of dollars.
A condominium project in Baja California with Trump’s name on it floundered. Then, Trump was forced to settle hundreds of lawsuits against the now defunct “Trump University” in San Diego’s federal court.
There is no wonder that a New York City real estate big shot might think badly of San Diego but to suggest “high crime rates” is ludicrous.
Fact: San Diego’s crime rates are the lowest they have been in almost half a century.
Another fact: No “wall” is being built. There is some fence replacement east of San Diego around Calexico, but nothing new. President Trump has no clue that the fence repair is 130 miles from San Diego.
It has been decades since San Diego border fencing was built. It was President Bill Clinton who built it, prodded as he was by San Diego Congressman Duncan L. Hunter in the 1990s. Newer double fencing was built within the past ten years.
That Hunter is the father of the current Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, who was the first congressman to support Trump for President.
Hunter Sr., along with a ferociously anti-illegal alien cabal of Southern California congressmen including the infamous Bob Dornan and Dana Rohrabacher, barraged the new President from Arkansas with verbal abuse about the thousands jumping the border nightly. Joining these men was Clinton’s own Attorney General, Janet Reno.
Surplus steel matting used in Vietnam to build airfields was trucked into San Diego, and California National Guardsmen commanded by Governor Pete Wilson built fencing from the Pacific Ocean into the hills east of the heavily-used border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana.
The fencing worked insofar as cutting down border crossings between the two multi-million-population cities by forcing the border crossers to move east from the coastal plain into the mountains of San Diego and further east into the Imperial Valley desert.
The numbers of illegal border crossers increased every day, every month and every year for another seven years until it peaked in 2000. The numbers have been falling drastically since.
Border apprehensions and crossing are now at a four-decade low.
There is no need for “troops on the border” and no need for a “beautiful wall” on the border. Any knowledgeable President would agree.
Raoul Lowery Contreras is a political consultant and the author of “The Armenian Lobby & American Foreign Policy” and “The Mexican Border: Immigration, War and a Trillion Dollars in Trade.” His work has appeared in the New American News Service of the New York Times Syndicate.