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Chris Hayes on the Meaning of “Border Security”

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“America cannot be and will not be, one hopes, the kind of nation that those folks want”

Last night, on the heels of the White House’s announcement of a forthcoming national emergency declaration, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes provided Americans with a much-needed reality check on the shifting meaning of “border security” debate.

Standing in El Paso last night, Hayes said:  

For many, most importantly this President, his base, and his advisors, it’s not about the border and it never has been. And we know that, because as soon as they were offered a $25 billion package for the wall, the White House derailed the talks by demanding a drastic reduction in legal immigration.

He could’ve had money for the wall, but the wall is not the issue. And the border, this very real stretch of land, with people and families and businesses and churches on both sides of the line is not the issue. The issue is what this country, as a whole looks like, and who gets to call it theirs – which is why the wall will never be built and always be needed. Why the border will never actually be secure, but always need to be secured.

It’s because America cannot be and will not be, one hopes, the kind of nation that those folks want – the President, his advisors. One bound fundamentally by ethnic and racial affiliation rather than a collective vision of a real society.

According to Douglas Rivlin, Communication Director of America’s Voice:

The wall has never been about security or crime or drugs. It is much simpler than that. It is an emotional and symbolic response to the President’s desire to keep out brown people.

Let’s call it for what it is: President Trump is declaring a national emergency on race and his emotional, gut xenophobia that tells him and some of his followers that there are too many immigrants in the United States. The President built his businesses on the backs of immigrant workers – and continues to.  This President had his own private caravan of immigrant workers build his golf courses and buildings and now wants to use them again by describing them as invaders and a national menace.

There is no emergency at the border, only an emergency in Trump’s mind, because he wants the approval of his right-wing critics. Trump is grasping for control with no concern for Democracy or our Constitution.

Take the time today to watch the full segment and absorb the reality of life at the border, not just the White House spin.