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We had our mouths all set to publish an editorial on the president's national address Tuesday night--except we can't find anything on which to disagree. How many times can we say how much the nation needs a real southern border? Like any nation. What, are France, Israel, Greece, Norway and Spain less enlightened nations because they have walls? Because they determine who can get in and who can't? And here we thought it was only the ugly Americans who were so xenophobic that we wanted to talk to, interview, and generally check out folks who cross the border.

Check out? Yes, and in more ways than one. Maybe perform a background check to see if anybody's got gang ties or a rap sheet. But not only that. Dispatches from down south say more and more people are arriving at the border sick. As shown by the unfortunate deaths of two Guatemalan children who showed up unannounced.

Wednesday's Democrat-Gazette published an AP story about a young girl who was hoisted over a border fence, only to cut herself bad enough to require the attention of a hospital in San Diego. We hope that's a lesson to beware for illegal immigrants, not one to imitate: injure yourself crossing the border and get a free pass! Call it another reason to have a real, physical border--one made with something other than concertina wire--if only to funnel people to checkpoints where they can be processed. Before they hoist their young daughters over barbed wire.

One report issued this week quoted the head of border security, Kevin McAleenan, saying 50 people on average are referred for medical treatment at the border every day. Some are sick. Some are pregnant. Some are wounded. Some have sick or wounded kids. "Some of the illnesses that agents have been seeing on a recurring basis are typical winter diseases such as influenza. Some have been diagnosed with very serious problems, including pneumonia, tuberculosis, parasites and gastrointestinal illnesses."

That report didn't come from Fox News or The Washington Times. It came from that font of right-wing conservative hearsay, The Washington Post. More from that story:

"McAleenan called the situation at the border 'an unprecedented crisis' caused by a sharp increase in the number of younger, sicker people who are crossing. The number of asylum cases has more than doubled, fueled largely by Central American families fleeing violence in their home countries."

So the president, apparently, is listening to his people. (It doesn't happen all the time.) And those who are responsible for the safety of the American public say, yes, there's a big problem. They use the word "crisis." See above.

President Trump's address Tuesday night was altogether responsible and appropriate. Difficult to say that about the Democrats' response.

Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi tag-teamed this one, not leaving a response to a Rising Star or regular party joe, as usual. They must've thought there'd be a real audience this time around, and who can resist a big room?

"We want to start with the facts," Nancy Pelosi started.

Yes, let's. Here is one fact: In 2009, the man standing to her right during the broadcast Tuesday night said this about the topic: "Illegal immigration is wrong, plain and simple. Until the American people are convinced we will stop future flows of illegal immigration, we will make no progress." But Chuck Schumer wasn't interested in repeating his own line this week. There's a president to oppose.

"The fact is," Rep. Pelosi said, "the women and children at the border are not a security threat."

How she knows that, she didn't say. Even if the children there aren't gang members, are they well? A body doesn't have to have a criminal record to be a security risk.

Sen. Schumer said the president is governing by temper tantrum. So what's new? He also said that Democrats want border security too; they just differ with the president on how to do it. And, when it comes to the government shutdown, "There's an obvious solution. Separate the shutdown from arguments over border security."

In other words, get the government back up and running, and the Congress can go back to ignoring the border.

We're not big fans of the shutdown, either. But it appears as though this president and congressional leaders are more interested in this power play than getting anything done. Border security has long been a bipartisan issue, with Democrats like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton--and Chuck Schumer--on record with their thoughts about how important a real, actual barrier is to the security of the United States.

But then a candidate named Donald Trump started talking about it during the last presidential election. Now to give him a wall would be to give him a win. And they couldn't allow him to brag about such a thing. And they certainly don't want to disappoint their own base. We imagine the government wouldn't be shut down, and $5 billion could found in the government's couch cushions, if this president's last name were anything but Trump.

To repeat Chuck Schumer's line before Donald Trump was elected: Illegal immigration is wrong, plain and simple.

Well, it's still plain. But now that a Republican sits in the Oval Office, apparently it isn't that simple.

Editorial on 01/10/2019

Print Headline: Response to response


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  • PopMom
    January 10, 2019 at 6:39 a.m.

    Oh wow. The ADG argues that we need a $5 billion wall to keep kids with the flu from coming in. News flash--we've already got plenty of flu right here. While a border wall works in smaller nations, we are a HUGE country with two long borders and two large ocean coasts and the Gulf of Mexico. People can sneek in and many do through visas at airports. We need to rely on ICE and law enforcement to ensure that there are no bad apples in this country. They do a pretty decent jobs. In Maryland, we've had some MS 13 activity. The bad people have been arrested and sent to prison, and now, we've not had any problems for a while. All is good. While we may need more funds for drones, helicopters or other surveillance at our southern border (and that may include improved sections of wall), a $5 billion wall would be a waste of money. People would just buy taller ladders or come by boat or in through Canada. People want to come to America. Let's not waste precious money on an impractical wall for our border which is just too dang long.

  • 23cal
    January 10, 2019 at 8:31 a.m.

    The editor does a long harangue while leaving out the most important part: Is a great big wall all along the southern border the best, most efficient, most cost effective way to secure the border?
    Does editor quote any experts on this matter? Virtually all of the wall experts I read on this say it is foolish.
    Of course not. The boot licker licks Trump's boots, demonizes Democrats for doing their job of overseeing taxpayer dollars on this issue, and tops it off with a big dose of xenophobia.
    Editor tells about a young girl who was hoisted over a border fence, only to cut herself bad enough to require the attention of a hospital in San Diego, then he calls for a higher fence so the next child being hoisted over gets broken bones instead of calling for more drones to just detect the child crossing and go pick it up. Doesn't seem like a well thought solution to me.

  • limb
    January 10, 2019 at 8:43 a.m.

    A minority of Americans want an ill conceived wall.
    The GOP had control of both branches for two years and didn’t want one. Neither did Trump.
    This fight is just that, a fight to behold for the donors and the fight lovers.

  • Bullgod1984
    January 10, 2019 at 9:53 a.m.

    23CAL, you must not have read the article too closely. He quoted the head of customs and border security, Kevin McAleenan, who said there is a crisis at the border. Is the head of the agency not an expert?

  • Packman
    January 10, 2019 at 11 a.m.

    Hey PopSnob - If walls are unnecessary why isn't anyone saying we need to remove the wall between San Diego and Mexico? Sure, Pop, let's not waste money on making sure we are a nation of borders and laws.... Nah, hard pass on that one.
    Hey 23cal - There's nothing xenophobic about enforcing immigration laws. Stop lying.
    The American Gothic meme on the Schumer/Pelosi response sh*t show is one of the funniest things I've seen all year. I really, really wanted Democrats to allow one of the party's rising stars, Eric Swallowell or Alex from the Bronx or Rashida Tlaib to do it. Would have been awesome to hear the words "Impeach the Motherf***er" as part of the response. Truly awesome!

  • Seitan
    January 10, 2019 at 3:15 p.m.

    Why aren't the editorialists concerned about the lies Trump told during his speech? Or do they agree with his chronic lying?

    “The federal government remains shut down for one reason and one reason only: because Democrats will not fund border security.” False.

    “The wall will also be paid for, indirectly by the great new trade deal we have made with Mexico.” False.

  • BoudinMan
    January 11, 2019 at 8:56 a.m.

    The repugnants had total control of govt. for 2 long years. They could have passed this for any amount they wanted under under budget reconciliation rules which require only a simple majority of votes in the Senate. They didn't see the necessity of it. Spare me all this blather.

  • Molly44
    January 11, 2019 at 3:12 p.m.

    BULLGOD1984, it's a humanitarian crisis that doesn't get resolved by building a $5 billion wall. It needs changes to the system, but not a wall.