Susteren opens the segment by asking Palin if Trump’s plan to build a wall along the southern border and make Mexico pay for it possible. “Heck yeah, it’s possible!” Palin replies, adding, “The immigration policy of his—especially the wall, that’s common sense—it’s a real shot in the arm to constitutionalists and conservatives.”
Palin continues at length with seemingly boundless enthusiasm for Trump’s immigration policy—enthusiasm which belies the fact that everything in Susteren’s initial question and Palin’s initial answer is massively deceptive.
First and foremost, as Taylor Millard documents (with pictures!) at HotAir, the wall in question pretty much already exists. “There aren’t any lasers, a shark-filled moat, or auto-turrets, but it’s there.” Sure, in some places it’s bigger than in others, but the smaller fences are located in regions where dangerous terrain and extremely high temperatures provide a significant barrier to construction and immigration alike.
As for the gaps in the fence, they’re mostly on private property, where “the government would have to deal with eminent domain to build the fence.” As you can imagine, “Texans aren’t a big fan of eminent domain,” so even if we take the Trump plan seriously and attempt to fill in those gaps, we’re looking at a massive violation of Americans’ private property rights.
Not very conservative or constitutional, is it?
Second, as others have ably explained here at Rare and over at Reason, Trump’s plan is hardly a small-government project. It would require hiring 10,000 new federal employees, cost hundreds of billions of dollars, and require all employers to participate in a creepy national database of workers which it’s not hard to imagine the government misusing and abusing.
As Rare’s Matt Purple comments, “A prudent conservatism, at the very least, should tease out a way to beef up immigration enforcement that avoids harmful infringements on our liberty. This isn’t what Trump does.”
So is a fence possible? Yeah, it’s super possible because it already exists.
But the rest of what Trump and Palin advocate? Well, it may not be impossible to implement, but it is arguably impossible to support while still claiming the constitionalist or conservative mantle.