President Donald Trump appeared on national TV to ask for Congress to fund a wall along our border with Mexico to stop what he referred to as a national emergency (“Zurawik: Trump takes new approach in Oval Office address. The result is flat, empty, unconvincing,” Jan. 8).
Inexplicably, he shifted the justification for the wall away from protection against criminals to one of humanitarian relief. Apparently, describing several thousand poor and hungry refugees from persecution as criminals was too much even for this president.
The problem along our border with Mexico is not due to criminal elements attempting to enter our country, but rather is due to the mismanagement and incompetence of the Trump administration, which has been unable to process immigrants in an orderly and compassionate manner (“Trump mentioned MS-13 members stabbing a 16-year-old girl in Maryland. That's not quite what happened,” Jan. 9).
Previous administrations, Republican or Democrat, managed to process much larger numbers of refugees across the border without great difficulty, avoiding separating children from their parents and allowing refugees to appear before judges to hear their appeal for humanitarian refuge without having to herd them into crowded and unsanitary holding pens. But the Trump administration has turned the border into a television reality show in a deliberate effort to demonize immigrants in order to shift national attention away from this administration’s incompetence and corruption. In the meantime, the nation suffers from a totally unnecessary government shutdown in an effort to blackmail the country into accepting the president’s unreasonable requests.