There are billionaires on both sides of the U.S. debate regarding whether we should welcome more low-skill migrants (this analysis by a Harvard professor says that an economically rational billionaire will choose more low-skill migrants). American billionaires are so rich that the kind of money Donald Trump was hoping to get from Congress for an effective border wall (about $11 billion) is within private reach.
Given how important the question of immigration is to the United States, I’m wondering why the billionaires arrayed on both sides aren’t in Mexico City offering to pay the Mexicans to adjust the flow. Democrat billionaires who’ve publicly advocated for more low-skill migrants could, for example, pay the Mexicans to assist caravans of those passing through from the south reach the Rio Grande. Republican billionaires could then step in and offer to pay to get the tide reversed or even pay Mexicans to Build the Wall!
- “Democrats Decried Dark Money. Then They Won With It in 2020.” (nytimes, January 2022), suggesting that the Democrats would win because they have more money to spend
- “Governor Ducey Announces Border Wall Gaps Near Yuma Are Now Filled” (https://azgovernor.gov/): … 3,820 feet of previously open border near Yuma, Arizona is now closed with a barrier of double-stacked and secured shipping containers. … In just 11 days, Arizona did the job the federal government has failed to do — and we showed them just how quickly and efficiently the border can be made more secure – if you want to.” (i.e., the federal government need not be the only wall-builder, even on the U.S. side of the border)
- “Containers are no hindrance for migrants on Arizona border” (ABC, a few days later): Hours before Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey declared “a major step forward to secure our border” with the installation of 130 double-stacked shipping containers, hundreds of migrants found their way around them, belying his claim. They walked through tribal lands to the edge of a towering wall built during Donald Trump’s presidency to surrender to border agents waiting outside the reservation, expecting to be released in the U.S. to pursue asylum. Families, young parents carrying toddlers, elderly people and others easily waded through the knee-deep Colorado River before dawn Wednesday, many in sandals with shopping bags slung over their shoulders. Migrants continue to avoid barriers by going around them — in this case, through a 5-mile (8-kilometer) gap in the Cocopah Indian Reservation near Yuma, a desert city of about 100,000 people between San Diego and Phoenix that has become a major spot for illegal crossings. President Joe Biden halted wall construction his first day in office, leaving billions of dollars of work unfinished but still under contract.
- “How Much of Trump’s Border Wall Was Built?” (US News)