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Politics Rep. Judy Chu Calls U.S.-Mexico Border Wall 'Wasteful, Expensive and Ineffective'

20:15  04 may  2021
20:15  04 may  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

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a truck driving down a dirt road: Workers move sections of the border wall on January 20, 2021 in Sasabe, Arizona. President Joe Biden has issued executive actions pausing the construction within seven days of a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA) and Pete Sessions (R-TX) discuss the need for the border wall on the latest episode of AS Counterpoint. © Micah Garen/Getty Images Workers move sections of the border wall on January 20, 2021 in Sasabe, Arizona. President Joe Biden has issued executive actions pausing the construction within seven days of a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA) and Pete Sessions (R-TX) discuss the need for the border wall on the latest episode of AS Counterpoint.

Former President Donald Trump made constructing a southern border wall a centerpiece of his administration. Many Democrats believed the project to be an unnecessary waste of money. As migrants, asylum seekers and unaccompanied children continue to be processed at the border, the situation remains a critical issue.

Rep. Henry Cuellar, one of Biden's harshest critics on the migrant surge, is urging White House to listen to border towns

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On the latest episode of A Starting Point's Counterpoint series, Representative Judy Chu (D-Calif.) and Pete Sessions (R-Texas) debate whether the border wall is effective or necessary.

Chu said the border wall was "never necessary" and "an entire waste of taxpayer dollars."

She said it does not stop drug traffickers because most drugs come through legal ports of entry on trucks or in shipping containers—"things not impacted by a wall."

"The wall doesn't reduce the number of undocumented [immigrants] in this country. Actually, the number of immigrants who overstay their visas was more than double the number of those who are apprehended at the border," Chu said. "Most undocumented immigrants don't come in through the southern border."

Inside a smuggling operation moving migrants across the US-Mexico border

  Inside a smuggling operation moving migrants across the US-Mexico border The smugglers are brothers and run the business out of their family home, smuggling people into the US with the help of one brother's 14 year-old son. Makeshift ladders laid out in the backyard were the only real giveaway of the family business. "It's super light," said the 14-year-old, picking up one of the ladders. He works with his father and uncle moving somewhere between 10 to 35 migrants per week on average, he says. Lately, that number has been on the high side. "Dozens are crossing everyday around here, it's very high," said one brother.

Additionally, the wall, which cost $20 million a mile, would cost about $1 billion annually to maintain, making it "the most expensive border wall in the world," she said.

For Sessions, the border wall is a symbol that the United States cares about law and order.

"The United States of America has always had a rule of law, an understanding that we as a great nation had to protect our borders and that we believe that good fences make better neighbors," he said. "Building that wall is that representation of our desire to make sure that rule of law and protecting our law enforcement and officers on the border would be followed."

Sessions added that the wall protects the country from drug cartels, terrorists and "people who had no desire to follow the effectiveness of law because they were coming here for lawlessness."

"A wall that is built properly may be expensive, but what it does is protect our law enforcement officers and controls the flow of things that want and need to come to this country legally by providing the pathway to the ports," he said.

Partisan divides emerge over border infrastructure

  Partisan divides emerge over border infrastructure President Joe Biden is calling for $1.2 billion in border infrastructure spending for the next fiscal year as his administration works to address record-high migration numbers at the U.S.-Mexico border. But Democratic and Republican lawmakers have vastly different ideas of what that funding should look like, teeing up a partisan battle when the narrowly divided […] The post Partisan divides emerge over border infrastructure appeared first on Roll Call.

Chu then shifted to the impact immigrants have on the economy and the need to embrace a humanitarian approach to the immigrant community.

"The thing we must keep front and center is that immigrants contribute to this country," she said. "Immigrants actually grow the economy."

According to Chu, researchers found that for each migrant lost, American Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell by about $30,000. Because the wall expansion resulted in fewer Mexican workers residing in the U.S., Chu said the U.S. economy, with real GDP falling by about $2.5 billion dollars a year.

Sessions countered by saying that the Biden administration and the Democratic Party should focus on raising wages for American workers.

"When you allow people who are illegal to come here, what you do is arbitrarily undercut the economy of this country," he said.

He added that Democrats are effectively "scattering" undocumented migrants across the country without knowing who they are and without "accepting the responsibility for us to effectively answer the problem, 'What should the legal process be not the illegal process?'"

Montana tribe gifts vaccines to neighbors across the border

  Montana tribe gifts vaccines to neighbors across the border BABB, Mont. (AP) — On a cloudy spring day, hundreds lined up in their cars on the Canadian side of the border crossing that separates Alberta and Montana. They had driven for hours and camped out in their vehicles in hopes of receiving the season’s hottest commodity — a COVID-19 vaccine — from a Native American tribe that was giving out its excess doses. The Blackfeet tribe in northern Montana provided about 1,000 surplus vaccines last month to its First Nations relatives and others from across the border, in an illustration of the disparity in speed at which the United States and Canada are distributing doses. While more than 30% of adults in the U.S.

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GOP ramps up attacks on Biden's border wall freeze .
Republicans in Congress are increasingly lashing out at President Biden's decision to freeze funding for the wall along the southern border.GOP lawmakers are zeroing in on Biden's proclamation from January, immediately upon taking office, in which he followed through on a campaign promise to halt construction of the wall, which had become the centerpiece of former President Trump's hardline immigration policies.The White House on Jan. 20 said it would take 60 days to review the use of border wall funds.Congressional Republicans argue Biden's actions were illegal, given that Congress appropriated $1.

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