John Derbyshire: OK, Some Wall Is Being Built
Print Friendly and PDF

Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, available exclusively at

Recently, I posted here on some news about the wall being built along our southern border. Yes, said a link I posted, the wall truly is being built, although very slowly: "Miles Built: 93. Miles to be built: 509+."

As I said, that's awful slow, even if it's true—I expressed some doubts. Donald Trump was elected three years ago. He was sworn in as Chief Executive one thousand and sixty-four days ago as I speak. Ninety-three miles divided by 1,064 averages out at 154 yards per day—not very impressive for the can-do nation.

At that rate the remaining 509 miles will take sixteen years, and that'll still be less than one-third of the total border, which is 1,954 miles.

That post of mine brought in some emails, though, as posts will. One very interesting one came from a doctor who works in a town near the border over in the western sector:

Some of my patients are working on the wall. I see them for physicals and if they get injured. It seems to be a big project.

There is one group of six engineers who live in New Mexico and fly by chartered aircraft in on Sunday evening and out on Thursday. They say that the plane carries six others who live in the same area the opposite way, so work is going on seven days a week.

All of them that I have spoken to are patriots and happy to be hard at work on this. They expect to be employed another year in this zone and then to work in another—depending on the election, of course.

That's very encouraging, and dispels some of my doubts. Plainly the Trump Administration is trying.

I'd be happier if they'd been trying those first two years, instead of playing patty-cake with congressional Open-Borders Cuckmeister Paul Ryan. Still, I'll take what I can get.

News reporting on the wall exposes some of the legal and legislative issues that are keeping things slow. Here's a story from Reuters, December 17th: Trump administration may not hit 2020 border wall goal, official says.

That official is Mark Morgan of Customs and Border Protection, the CBP. So what, according to him, is keeping things slow? Well, some federal judge — a Mexican-American judge appointed by Bill Clinton—has blocked him using military funds for wall construction. Plus, current funding for the wall runs out imminently.

And the CBP's own figures, according to Reuters, show that 90 of those 93 miles already built replace existing structures.

Commissioner Morgan pushed back on that one, insisting that everything built so far should be considered new. O-kay.

The judge issue and the funding aren't killer obstacles. An appeals court could overturn that Kritarch's ruling, and Congress’s spending package allegedly includes wall funds.

Still: Two years of nothing … 154 yards per day … replacing existing structures … judicial obstruction … funding issues… You don't get an impression of desperate urgency.

And this—the border wall—is just one aspect of one face of the immigration issue. I mean of course the illegal face. What about visa overstayers? What about Employer penalties? What about strategic deportations? Is anything getting done? No, nothing.

Hey, look on the bright side, Derb. If you think of our efforts here at to bring some reason and order to our immigration system, if you think of it as a job, it looks like it's a job for life. You're never going to be redundant.


John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.

For years he’s been podcasting at Radio Derb, now available at for no charge. His writings are archived at

Readers who wish to donate (tax deductible) funds specifically earmarked for John Derbyshire's writings at can do so here.


Print Friendly and PDF