- - Wednesday, August 23, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

President Trump took his determination to build the border wall this week to Arizona, ground zero for illegal immigration, and threatened to shut down the federal government if Congress doesn’t include a down-payment on the wall in the budget this year.

“The obstructionist Democrats would like us not to do it,” he told a rally in Phoenix, “but believe me, if we have to close down our government we’re building that wall.”

Democrats in the Senate, showing unaccustomed concern for “wasteful government spending,” say they won’t agree to the $1.6 billion the House has approved, but they’re not the only obstructionists. Radical environmental groups have joined the effort to prevent construction of the wall, citing concerns about the impact on habitats of ocelots and butterflies, among other critters. The Center for Biological Diversity, together with Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, a Democrat and a passionate fan of open borders, claim the border wall violates environmental laws and demand that the Department of Homeland Security make a review of its potential environmental impact.

Trump’s border wall will divide and destroy the incredible communities and wild landscapes along the border,” says Kieran Suckling of the Center for Biological Diversity. “Endangered species like jaguars and ocelots don’t observe international boundaries, and should not be sacrificed for unnecessary border militarization.”

Sara Chieffo of the League of Conservation Voters calls Mr. Trump’s border wall “xenophobic.” If the administration can’t reconcile the wall “with dozens of environmental safeguards,” she says, “that’s yet another reason why Congress should deny funding and prevent construction.” The National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, fears a wall there would impede the migratory path of the monarch butterfly.

But this, it seems to us, shows a lack of respect for the judgment of the majestic monarch butterflies, who, unlike certain obstructionists in the Senate, know a thing or two. Instead of bumping their tiny heads against the wall, the monarchs, with their remarkable navigational skills, will surely just fly over it.

Mr. Trump rightly observes that obstructionist Senate Democrats, their environmentalist allies and a few timid Republicans seem to hold no similar concern for the victims of crimes committed by illegal aliens. He reminded them that he has met with families of Americans killed by criminals who treat the border as if it were one of Barack Obama’s red lines drawn in the sand. “I promised these families that the deaths of their loved ones will not have been in vain. Let me be very clear to Democrats in Congress who oppose a border wall and stand in the way of border security. You are putting all of Americans’ safety at risk.”

Democrats in the Senate have promised to filibuster the 2018 budget over the $1.6 billion for the border wall. Such a sum is no more than a “rounding error” by federal spending standards. Mr. Trump’s border wall was one of his most popular campaign promises, and he is determined to make it a promise kept. Chaos on the border is not good for anyone, including butterflies.

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