If we build it, we will lose our security and our humanity.–Beto O’Rorke in El Paso
In an article which appeared in The Hill, the authors argue that “Democrats’ ‘smart border’ technology is not a ‘humane’ alternative to Trump’s wall.” The argument is persuasive, but more interesting observations are found at the end of the article. The authors note:
Based on these findings there is a need to reconsider the premise that surveillance technology and infrastructure can provide a “humane” alternative to Trump’s border wall (a proposal we also consider to be wasteful and destructive). Instead, we’d like to see a shift in U.S. border policy that genuinely prioritizes the protection of human life, regardless of a person’s citizenship or immigration status.
This kind of shift, of course, would require reforms not just to the Border Patrol and its enforcement strategy, but to U.S. immigration policy overall, allowing people to seek safety or reunite with family and loved ones without risking their lives crossing through the desert.
Democrats were pushed to define an alternative to a border wall to deflect charges that they were weak on “border security,” that they favored “open borders.” Better that the debate had turned to defining a humane immigration policy, a border policy that genuinely prioritizes the protection of human life, regardless of a person’s citizenship or immigration status.