Anti-Trump New York Times Columnist Calls on Biden to Finish Border Wall

by JOEL B. POLLAK 8 Apr 2021

Bret Stephens, a Never Trump columnist for the New York Times who backed Hillary Clinton in 2016, has published a column in which he calls upon President Joe Biden to finish Trumpís wall along the southern U.S. border.

Noting that ďthe Biden administrationís concept of compassionĒ is also ďan inducement to recklessnessĒ among migrants, Stephens writes:

Thatís a conclusion Iíve come to reluctantly, and not because Iíve abandoned my disgust with Donald Trump. Walls are ugly things: symbols of defensive, suspicious, often closed-minded civilizations. Walls are, invariably, permeable: Whatever else a border wall will do, it will not seal off America from unwanted visitors or undocumented workers ó roughly half of whom arrive legally and overstay their visas.

Walls also cannot address the root cause of our immigration crisis, which stems from a combination of social collapse south of the border and the pull of American life north of it.

But a well-built wall should still be a central part of an overall immigration fix. Itís an imperfect but functional deterrent against the most reckless forms of border crossing. Itís a barrier against sudden future surges of mass migration.

Itís also a political bargaining chip to be traded for a path to citizenship in a comprehensive immigration-reform bill. And itís a prophylactic against the next populist revolt, which is sure to overtake our politics if the Biden administration cannot competently control an elementary function of governance.

Read Bret Stephensís full column here.

Earlier this week, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who opposed Trumpís border wall and has called Trumpís policies inhumane, was reported to be considering resume wall construction to fill gaps that encouraged illegal crossings, amidst a political crisis for the new administration.

Last year, Stephens called the coronavirus pandemic Trumpís ďChernobyl.Ē He did occasionally praise Trump for successes, such as the flourishing of peace in the Middle East after Trump broke with the Beltway foreign policy consensus and moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, as Congress had directed decades before.