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Steve Novotney Says, "How Deep is that Wall?"

It's a very valid question, especially since President Donald Trump has only briefly mentioned proposed height and nothing about depth.

It's always an interesting inquiry because of what border agents have discovered and reported. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, these tunnels, "…can stretch as far as 1,800 feet long but are narrow. They're usually about 60 feet below ground and are generally in the 3-foot-by-4-foot range."

The longest ever found stretched a half-mile near San Diego, and the passage was dug about 10 feet deep. It, of course, was used for drug and people smuggling and was equipped with rails, lighting, ventilation, and even a large elevator on the American side. If Trump's wall is just high and not deep, then such tunnels not only will be used by the drug cartels but also more so for the people-smuggling trade if this boundary barrier is erected.

The issue of illegal immigration has been well documented for decades and, for whatever reasons, most attention is focused on the line that separates the United States and Mexico instead of the far wider border between Canada and the U.S.

Maybe it's because Canadians don't look different from Americans.

National security, though, is a very real issue in the United States, and technological advancement has permitted the threat to reach the homeland in the form of terrorism. Most people cite the horrors of 9/11 as the first time the country has been attacked here at home, but that's only because they have forgotten the 1993 bombing below the World Trade Center. Although the evil plan concocted by the Middle East natives failed to come to fruition, six Americans were killed on the February day and more than a thousand sought medical attention after the attack.

President Trump has insisted that is why limiting immigration to the U.S. is necessary right now and why this wall is imperative to long-term national security. There are more than 1,950 border miles that separate the U.S. and Mexico, but no one – not even in a tweet from President Trump – has mentioned a specific height or the depth of this barricade. No one seems to be asking specifics either, yet many on the Trump Train are supporting it pretty much unconditionally even though such a project would damage the American economy, denigrate the country's status with foreign nations, and label United States citizens as isolationists instead of the welcoming, melting-pot community the country has been to the world since the Constitution was composed.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto was scheduled to meet with the American President, but he canceled the sit-down after Trump signed the order for his wall. During his primary and presidential campaigns Trump insisted Mexico would fund such a barrier between nations, but since his inauguration his administration has explained a 20 percent import tax would take care of the cost.

What does that mean? Many American companies manufacture everything from tires to cars to appliances to Fender guitars in Mexico, and then they are sold here in the United States, so it's likely the prices of such items will increase to cover the new tax, if implemented. In other words, the American consumer would cough up the cash, but the amount of money it would take proves to be yet another mystery.

The price tag? $15 billion? Maybe $25 billion? No one really knows at this point, but there is one part of this proposed project that could prove most interesting. IF President Trump is successful and work on this wall begins, it will involve much excavation, and that is likely when depth will be addressed because such a barrier would need a massive footer.

Will construction crews uncover undiscovered tunnels along the way?

President Trump mentioned his border protection plan during a plethora of campaign speeches, those in attendance often chanted, "BUILD THE WALL," and then he won the presidency, so that is a distinct indication that many, if not most Americans, want the wall despite the predictable ramifications.

But that's democracy.

Categories: Commentary