It Was Always about the Wall

It Was Always about the Wall, by Victor Davis Hanson.

Democrats in the present political landscape will not consent to a wall. For them, a successful border wall is now considered bad politics in almost every manner imaginable.

Sheer numbers have radically changed electoral politics. Take California. One out of every four residents in California is foreign-born. Not since 2006 has any California Republican been elected to statewide office.

The solidly blue states of the American Southwest, including Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico, voted red as recently as 2004 for George W. Bush. Progressives understandably conclude that de facto open borders are good long-term politics.

The old left championed the working class, so were against illegal immigration:

Once upon a time, Democrats such as Hillary and Bill Clinton and Barack Obama talked tough about illegal immigration. They even ruled out amnesty while talking up a new border wall.

In those days, progressives saw illegal immigration as illiberal — or at least not as a winning proposition among union households and the working poor.

Democratic constituencies opposed importing inexpensive foreign labor for corporate bosses. Welfare rights groups believed that massive illegal immigration would swamp social services and curtail government help to American poor of the barrios and the inner city.

The new left needs illegal immigration:

So, what happened? Again, numbers.

Hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants have flocked into the United States over the last decade. In addition, the Obama administration discouraged the melting-pot assimilationist model of integrating only legal immigrants.

Salad-bowl multiculturalism, growing tribalism and large numbers of unassimilated immigrants added up to politically advantageous demography for Democrats in the long run.

In contrast, a wall would likely reduce illegal immigration dramatically and with it future Democratic constituents. Legal, meritocratic, measured and diverse immigration in its place would likely end up being politically neutral. And without fresh waves of undocumented immigrants from south of the border, identity politics would wane. …

A wall is both effective and changes the optics:

The Israelis have a wall. Britain, Australia, NZ and Japan have the sea. Canada has the US. But the US has no wall.

Border guards would be mostly invisible from the Mexican side of the wall. Barbed wire, dogs and tear gas astride the border — the ingredients for media sensationalism — would be unnecessary. Instead, footage of would-be border crossers trying to climb 30-foot walls would emphasize the degree to which some are callously breaking the law.