Univision anchor Jorge Ramos continues to triple down on in his ongoing war of words against proposed border security initiatives. His latest column picks up where his New York Times piece left off.
In “The Myth of the Perfect Wall”, published on Splinter, Ramos continues to excoriate the concept of border security as a racist construct, but goes further by dismissing the entire concept of a southern border as an exercise in futility. Part of what Ramos does is to present the full-border wall strawman, in order to try to knock it down:
If by some magic (or through behind-the-scenes negotiations), President Donald Trump could get the $5.7 billion hes been asking for to build a wall, it would be of very little use. That money would only get him about 234 miles worth of wall, according to the White House. What about the rest of the border?
Those who buy into the myth that Trumps wall would completely stem the illegal entry of drugs and people into the United States clearly have trouble with math. Heres a crash course: The line dividing Mexico and the United States is 1,954 miles long. Right now, there are already walls and fences along about 700 miles. That still leaves 1,254 without any physical barrier. So, even if Trump could build his new wall, there would still be an unfenced stretch of over 1,000 miles. End of lesson.
But, Trump just wont speak truth to his followers. And, the truth is that a wall would be useless.
But...the current proposal doesn’t entail a full border wall. Ramos need this artificial strawman in order to attack the concept of any type of fencing along the border. Ramos even goes so far as to criticize the 234 miles that were a sticking point in the latest government shutdown.
And then we arrive at the true heart of Ramos’ piece- that any border enforcement is needless, excessive, capricious, and racist.
At some point we will have to accept the fact that the border between Mexico and the United States is nothing more than an invention. It was demarcated in 1848, following a war that cost Mexico about half its territory (its no coincidence that cities like Los Angeles, San Antonio and San Francisco have Spanish names). Also, its been said a thousand times that many people didnt cross the border, the border crossed them. And the cultural and commercial ties between the two sides remain in place to this day look at the fellowship exhibited by cities like El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico even if barbed wire and concrete barriers have been erected in some places along the divide.
Yes, all countries have the right to mark and protect their borders. But the histories and traditions of countries like Mexico and the United States are so intertwined that there is no practical or legal way a wall would keep them apart. Some politicians, like Trump, may well try to do come up with a way, but they are doomed to failure every time.
The border has been a crooked proposition from the beginning, and it will continue to be twisted to meet political ends.
And thus, Ramos goes from limited enforcement, to no enforcement, to non-prosecution of minor offenses by unauthorized immigrants, to “we didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us”.
The truest thing Ramos wrote in the column is that last line from the quote above. The fact is that the border is a political issue. And Ramos is undeniably a political actor when it comes to immigration issues. Journalism went out the window a long time ago.
A P.S. to Ramos’ P.S.: The Splinter translations do not often include the P.S. statements from the original Spanish as they are often if not always unrelated to the bulk of the original column, but saw fit to include it here, as it pertains to Venezuela- a relevant topic right now:
P.S. For purposes of foreign policy, Mexicos government is still recognizing the dictatorship of President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela, who is responsible for mounting deaths, tightening censorship and the incarceration of political dissenters. However, one of the principles laid out in Article 89 (X) of the Mexican Constitution directs us to respect, protect and promote human rights. So, what comes next?
Ramos, not unlike a stopped clock that tells proper time twice a day, is right on Venezuela. But why soft-pedal Mexican government support of the Maduro regime? Mexico’s government is not led by unknown bureaucrats deep in a bunker in Mexico City, but by its duly elected president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador. So why not mention AMLO by name like he does Trump and Maduro? The soft touch here is strange, uncalled for, and inconsistent with Ramos’ “contrapoder” gimmick.