President Trump announced today that his long-promised plan for a huge wall along the United States-Mexico border now appears more costly than he expected and he was having difficulty getting Mexico to pay for it. Instead, he proposed a simpler solution – a minefield.
“A minefield to halt illegal immigration across the border would be more effective, cheaper, and more attractive,” he said. “Besides, we have hundreds of thousands of mines in military warehouses that could be easily deployed to the border. The mines would be a more-subtle deterrent and not detract from the natural beauty of the border area.
“In an effort to reduce costs, I will encourage corporations to sponsor various sections. For a licensing fee, they could have tasteful signs in those areas showing their support for the program. Also under consideration is a reality TV show called “Border Survival” in which desperate illegals try to cross the minefields into the United States. Perhaps we will allow wagering on various contestants as they start out from Mexico. Commercializing the entry attempts could mean the entire project will pay for itself.”
“Those who successfully negotiate the minefield will immediately be sworn in as US citizens.” When asked by a reporter what happens to those who don’t make it, Trump said with a smile, “They’re fired. The bold, courageous and daring few who successfully negotiate the minefield will be welcomed as heroes with the ‘right stuff’ to be Americans. Unlike a wall, this system gives folks a chance and also provides a natural selection process.”
What about “collateral damage,” a reporter asked, as people are killed or maimed when they attempt an entry? “It’s certainly not my intention to injure the innocent,” the president said,” but those folks are breaking the law. They know the risks. There is no Statue of Liberty on the Mexican border. If they want to be considered part of the ‘huddled masses yearning to be free,’ they should enter legally through the port of New York, like my ancestors.”
But those folks were not required to swim from the Statue of Liberty to Ellis Island, another reporter observed. Responded Trump: “Well, we probably could have eliminated a lot of problems with such a test, but my ancestors would have made it. They were all huge swimmers.”
Taking up a query about stories noting that large numbers of American citizens began crossing the border into Canada after the election, the president said, “Yes, the Canadian prime minister called me recently. He said if I don’t stop the flow, he would build a wall and make us pay for it. But if they’re leaving, we don’t want them, so I told him it was his problem. He’s got some nerve stealing the wall idea from my playbook.”
One correspondent, mentioning that large numbers of Hispanics, many of them American citizens, have been fleeing the country, posed this question: Since there is no such thing as a one-way minefield, won’t your plan prevent them from getting out? “I am assigning that problem to Vice President Palin,” said Trump, “to take up after she establishes the relocation camps where we will hold the 11 million illegal immigrants before deporting them.”
What about those of your supporters who are angry about your decision not to build the wall after promising to do so before the election? “Well, that wall was not a meant to be a real wall; it was a metaphor for a barrier. Just like my ban on Muslims entering the country was a metaphor for terrorists. It’s not that I don’t mean what I say; just call it poetic license. Obama was much too literal – he meant what he said. I prefer to keep everyone guessing. That way you can get the best deal and even get elected president, as I just demonstrated.”
As to his relationship with Congress, Trump said that things have been “just fine since I appointed Ted Cruz to the Supreme Court. He’s happy and his colleagues in the Senate are thrilled to be rid of him. I’m having them all up to what used to be Camp David – it’s now Donald’s Hideaway – for a weekend barbecue. I’ll keep them there until we make some deals. I always made my best deals when the other side was either in custody or incapacitated. You want to be unpredictable. Being reasonable just limits your options.”
The final question was about Russian President Putin’s reaction to Trump’s appointment of Bobby Knight as Secretary of Defense? “You mean Vladimir – he asked me to call him Vladimir. He said Bobby was his kind of guy: impulsive and tough. Now there’s a winning combination; keeps opponents off balance. Wait’ll Bobby starts throwing chairs at one of those Joint Chiefs of Staff meetings.”
James W. Dolan is a retired Dorchester District Court judge who now practices law.