President Donald Trump repeatedly claims only Democrats oppose his multi-billion dollar border wall. He also claims Republicans are completely unified in supporting it and back his decision to shut down portions of the government—including the Department of Homeland Security—until he gets the billions of dollars he wants for his wall.
But Texas Republican Representative Will Hurd stated otherwise in an interview with CNN.
Hurd represents a district on the southern border with Mexico. In fact, Hurd’s district covers 820 miles of the border, well over a third of the 1,954 mile border with Mexico.
When asked for his thoughts on the wall, Hurd—a member of both the House Homeland Security and Intelligence Committees—stated:
“I think building a concrete structure sea to shining sea is the most expensive and least effective way to do border security.”
Watch his remarks here.
“I think building a concrete structure sea to shining sea is the most expensive and least effective way to do border security,” GOP Rep. Will Hurd, who represents a border district says pic.twitter.com/f9MSpsWwYM
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 9, 2019
Hurd’s assessment reflects the thoughts of experts on border security who point out advancements in technology that are utilized more effectively than a wall and could be purchased with a fraction of the money Trump wants for his wall. The Department of Homeland Security budget requests to Congress never included a wall—prior to Trump appointing Kirstjen Nielsen to the post—as experts within the department also understand actual border security and immigration statistics.
The majority of undocumented immigrants who enter the United States still come in legally on a variety of visa types—student, tourist, work—then simply stay after their visa expires. Their arrivals are through legal points or entry on planes or in other types of vehicles, not by walking across the southern border.
Hurd went on to comment on the President’s threat to declare a national emergency if he did not get his border wall billions.
“It would be an amazing misuse and abuse of power.”
“It would be an amazing misuse and abuse of power,” GOP Rep. Will Hurd says of President Trump’s consideration of declaring a national emergency to receive wall funding pic.twitter.com/I1idTxUnMA
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 9, 2019
So why—if every expert in border security and immigration statistics indicate a wall is ineffective and a waste of billions that could be better used by Homeland Security in upgrading technology and increasing staffing—does Trump insist he get his multi-billion dollar wall or else?
However as polls indicate, the majority of United States voters oppose the waste of billions of dollars to pander to right wing pundits, the conservative press and MAGA rally supporters. People voiced just such in response to Hurd’s remarks on CNN.
Some pointed out flaws in the Trump one-size fits all multi-million dollar prototypes that were already constructed and failed in testing.
Every mile of the border has it’s own geographical features and problems. Can’t put up a wall without specific requirements, needs unique to the geography of the land.
— MOreyna (@Mariaolgareyna2) January 9, 2019
A very fourteenth century idea.
— Pat (@PatriciaRoy246) January 10, 2019
Others voiced support for Hurd’s assessment.
More than a little stunned to hear an R I agree with.
— Nasty_007_ (@Nasty_007_) January 9, 2019
Finally some sense from a gop member.
— Moses Akopyan (@AkopyanMoses) January 9, 2019
This GOP rep from Texas makes sense and he’s from the border !
— DeMarr (@DKM09) January 9, 2019
Wow a sensible Republican…there are some left 🤔
— NJTWISTED (@NJTWISTED76) January 9, 2019
This Dem hopes 2 hear more sanity from Rep William Hurd-Repub-Ret. CIA Agent. He knows TX Border, State Dept & 21st century tech. security. Says RE-OPEN Govt, then debate. Fund: State Dept/Technology/ Ensure pay 2 border control & Coast Guard 2 seize drugs @ post offices/ports.
— AWanderer (@azwanderer2) January 10, 2019
Others suggested the GOP listen to their member of Congress who represents a border district.
— E. Duarte (@atxed1) January 9, 2019
— Shaddyshad34 (@shaddyshad34) January 10, 2019
However a few Trump supporters failed to understand the points Hurd made but were corrected.
— Major Beige (@MajorBeige) January 9, 2019
We’ve already done this. There are 600 miles of barriers already on the border.
— Raef de la Fayette (@RaefDLF) January 10, 2019
As Trump’s government shutdown tactic to gain his border wall funding approaches the third week, the President heads to the border for a photo-op to try to gain the support his presidential address on Tuesday failed to garner. If all other attempts to force Congress to give him the billions he wants fail, Trump stated he would likely declare a national emergency to bypass Congress.