US-Mexico Border Row: Donald Trump's pick for AG once questioned the wall value

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 01 January 2019, 07:02 AM
Barr was attorney general under President George H W Bush
Barr was attorney general under President George H W Bush

President Donald Trump's pick for attorney general, William Barr, once questioned the value of a wall along the Mexican border similar to the one the president has advocated, describing the idea as "overkill." Barr was attorney general under President George H W Bush when he was asked in a February 24, 1992, interview whether he supported a proposal from Republican presidential challenger Pat Buchanan to erect a barrier of ditches and fences along the border to stop illegal immigration. "I don't think it's necessary. I think that's overkill to put a barrier from one side of the border to the other," Barr replied on "The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour" on PBS.

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"In fact, the problem with illegal immigration across the border is really confined to major metropolitan areas. Illegal immigrants do not cross in the middle of the desert and walk hundreds of miles," instead choosing more "certain specified routes." Those routes through more populated areas have since largely been closed off, pushing migrants to riskier desert routes.

Earlier, Donald Trump threatened to "entirely close" the Southern border with Mexico and change the immigration laws if the opposition Democrats did not agree to his demand of funding for a border wall. The Trump administration is seeking more than US dollar 5 billion for the construction of the border wall. Trump also threatened to end all US aid to three Latin American countries--Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras-- arguing that these nations have done nothing to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the US. Donald Trump made a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border to combat illegal immigration and drug trafficking a key campaign promise in the 2016 election when he said it would be paid for by Mexico. 

"We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with. Hard to believe there was a Congress & President who would approve," Trump said in a series of four tweets.

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"The United States looses soooo much money on Trade with Mexico under NAFTA, over 75 Billion Dollars a year (not including Drug Money which would be many times that amount), that I would consider closing the Southern Border a 'profit making operation'," the US President tweeted.

"We build a wall or close the Southern Border. Bring our car industry back into the United States where it belongs. Go back to pre-NAFTA, before so many of our companies and jobs were so foolishly sent to Mexico. Either we build (finish) the Wall or we close the Border..," Trump said.

First Published: Tuesday, January 01, 2019 07:02 AM
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