In this file:
· Arizona ranchers who supported Trump wall now have doubts about border plans
When Donald Trump was elected president, rancher John Ladd said smuggling traffic on his ranch immediately dipped, and he slept soundly for the first time in years… But other ranchers who voted for Trump say his “big, beautiful” wall won’t work without first improving how the Border Patrol monitors existing barriers…
· The only real solution to the border crisis
· Trump to request $8.6B in wall funding in 'tough' budget request, setting up congressional showdown
Arizona ranchers who supported Trump wall now have doubts about border plans
By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times
Mar 10, 2019
When Donald Trump was elected president, rancher John Ladd said smuggling traffic on his ranch immediately dipped, and he slept soundly for the first time in years.
Ladd, 63, a fourth-generation cattle rancher, had voted for Trump and his promise to build a border wall and have Mexico pay for it. But the wall hasn’t been constructed, the respite didn’t last, and Ladd, along with other vocal southern Arizona ranchers, has lost faith in the Border Patrol’s barrier plans.
“If they build a wall and do what they did to us, it isn’t going to work,” Ladd said last week as he drove through the 10½-mile stretch of his ranchland that borders Mexico — roughly from the community of Naco west to the San Pedro River.
All but about half a mile of the border on his ranch is already fenced, a patchwork of varying heights, all erected on his land prior to the Trump administration. To his immediate west, at the foot of the Huachuca Mountains, the fence ends.
The first stretch of new fence planned for construction by the Trump administration is not slated for the Arizona desert but for Texas and is mired in environmental and land disputes. Even if that project moves forward and is expanded to Arizona, Ladd and some other ranchers now doubt it will stop smugglers unless the Border Patrol changes its policies and deploys agents closer to the new barriers.
Ladd’s friend and fellow rancher Jim Chilton still believes in Trump’s wall, but describes the project as three-pronged.
“You need a wall. You need roads. And just as important, you need the Border Patrol at the border,” said Chilton, 79, whose cattle ranch on the border a dozen miles west of Nogales is fenced with only barbed wire and frequented by smugglers, he says.
Chilton was invited to meet the president at the American Farm Bureau Federation convention in New Orleans in January, where Trump acknowledged smuggling traffic on Chilton’s ranch and brought him up to speak.
“Mr. President,” Chilton said after taking the stage in his Stetson and bolo tie, “we need a wall.”
Chilton didn’t mention the need for Border Patrol agents to monitor traffic along the barrier. He figures once the wall is built, “then we put pressure on the Border Patrol to change their strategy.”
But other ranchers who voted for Trump say his “big, beautiful” wall won’t work without first improving how the Border Patrol monitors existing barriers. They say a trip along Ladd’s property illustrates their concerns...
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The only real solution to the border crisis
The United States must devise a program that addresses the root causes of migration
By Chris Deutsch, Opinion, The Washington Post
March 11, 2019
Deutsch is currently a visiting assistant professor at the University of Missouri, whose dissertation, "Forging a National Diet: Beef and the Political Economy of Plenty in Postwar America," explores federal beef politics and policy.
If there is a crisis on the border, cooperation is a better option than sealing it off.
That’s the lesson that President Harry S. Truman taught the nation in 1947, when a crisis in Mexico threatened to spread north and destroy the American cattle industry. Cattle owners and state governments wrote the president begging the federal government to build a fence and seal the southern border. But he refrained.
Instead, the Truman administration worked closely with the Mexican government to end the crisis before it could spread beyond Mexico. Although they initially settled on an anti-democratic plan to tackle the problem, the eventual solution engaged stakeholders and adopted democratic principles that obviated any need for the fence. The 1947 crisis reminds us that if we actually wish to handle the refugee crisis that is again creating demands for a fence, we must work to solve the underlying causes driving people to emigrate.
The cause of the crisis in 1947 was an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, known as aftosa in Spanish. The disease had previously never established itself in North America, in part thanks to several expensive extermination campaigns. When the disease appeared in Vera Cruz, Mexico, in December 1946 in cattle imported from Brazil, it set off a large-scale disaster with continental implications. After arriving, the disease spread rapidly in central Mexico, reaching the other side of the country in less than two months.
The characteristics of foot-and-mouth disease shaped the outbreak. The highly contagious yet rarely fatal disease is caused by an aphthovirus that aggressively seeks out and infects cloven-footed mammals such as cattle, oxen and pigs. After infection, the virus incubates for up to 12 days before symptoms show.
Among its symptoms in livestock is weight loss, which made the virus a potential national emergency. American cattle owners feared that, if the disease made its way north, it would become too expensive to bring cattle up to slaughter weight. That posed a genuine threat to the domestic beef industry. As Agriculture Department official S.O. Fladness said at a congressional hearing, “I do not see how the feeding industry could survive under conditions of foot-and-mouth disease.”
To U.S. cattle owners, the solution was obvious. They demanded that the government build a border fence to keep infected cattle from crossing into America.
This push spurred Truman to action, but not in the way the cattlemen wanted. Instead, agricultural officials from the United States and Mexico invoked a treaty signed 15 years earlier that allowed the two countries to cooperate to eradicate the disease wherever it appeared. Truman agreed to a request from Mexican President Miguel Alemán Valdés that the two countries create a joint eradication campaign.
Domestic opposition was fierce. Cattlemen and ranchers saw the campaign as an insufficient solution to a genuine crisis. Ranchers and their representatives demanded that the USDA add Mexico to the list of countries known to harbor the disease, thus shutting off historically important livestock and meat trade between the countries, while also beginning construction on a fence. So intense was the panic that cattle owners such as Richard Kleberg of Texas’s King Ranch wanted the border sealed even though they had financial connections to the cattle industry in Mexico.
The situation was so desperate, and farmers and ranchers so anxious, that even the USDA’s leadership demanded a fence.
Truman and his Cabinet, however, resisted. They realized that sealing a land border is a poor safeguard against the spread of a disease. Working with the Mexican government to eradicate the disease in central Mexico offered a far better prospect for keeping the disease out of the United States. The immediate goal was to contain it to the regions where it had taken root and then eradicate it before it spread to the valuable cattle herds in northern Mexico.
The initial plan called for a technique called area eradication, which meant employing squads of veterinarians, workers and soldiers to clear an area by slaughtering all of the animals, burying them in a mass grave and reimbursing the owners. Funding came mostly from the United States, as did volunteer workers while Mexico provided the soldiers, local facilities and more volunteers. The program began working by the summer of 1947.
While more effective than a fence, mass slaughter was not without significant controversy because of its anti-democratic features. The governments devised the program without consulting the people of central Mexico, who resented having their livestock murdered to cure a disease that, to them, was only a nuisance. Because owners in central Mexico did not send their cattle to feedlots, the reduced weight gain did not threaten their livelihoods.
Resistance spread until it became deadly. Fearing the loss of their cattle and encouraged by the presidents’ opponents, residents of a small town in the state of Michoacan murdered a veterinarian and his six-member military escort. The killings shocked both governments, spurring exaggerated responses. A special envoy for Agriculture Secretary Clinton Anderson recommended that, because eradication had clearly failed, the fence had to be built immediately, and the military needed to actively patrol by airplane and strafe any animals wandering too close.
But by the end of 1947, this panicked reply gave way to cooler heads. Truman and Anderson responded to the fury over the slaughter of livestock not with a fence, but by adopting a third way...
Trump to request $8.6B in wall funding in 'tough' budget request, setting up congressional showdown
By Gregg Re | Fox News
Mar 10, 2019
President Trump will soon formally seek a total of $8.6 billion in new border wall funding from Congress as part of the White House's upcoming budget proposal for the next fiscal year, three sources close to the budget process tell Fox News, although the aggressive request faces all-but-certain rejection in Congress amid a growing crisis at the southern border.
The budget is also expected to seek money to establish the Space Force as a new branch of the military, and to sharply curb spending on domestic safety-net programs. The outline includes a total of $2.7 trillion in nondefense spending cuts and the administration says its proposals would put the federal government on track to balance the budget by 2034.
“In the last two years, President Trump and this Administration have prioritized reining in reckless Washington spending. The Budget that we have presented to Congress and the American people ... embodies fiscal responsibility, and takes aim at Washington’s waste, fraud, and abuse,” said Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Russ Vought said in a statement Sunday night. Our national debt nearly doubled under the previous Administration and now stands at more than $22 trillion. This Budget shows that we can return to fiscal sanity without halting our economic resurgence while continuing to invest in critical priorities.”
According to the sources, Trump will look to secure $5 billion from Congress, plus $3.6 billion from the military construction budget, for the fiscal year 2020. The request is coming on top of the $8.1 billion Trump already has access to, which includes money he's trying to shift from military accounts after declaring a national emergency.
Trump invoked the emergency declaration last month after Congress denied his request for $5.7 billion. Instead, Congress approved nearly $1.4 billion for the border barriers, far less than he wanted.
Armed with the $8.1 billion of wall funding currently available in the fiscal year 2019 budget, and the approximately 122 miles of wall completed or in progress from the last two fiscal years, the Trump administration already has the money to build more than half of the targeted 722 miles of wall along the southern border, Fox News is told.
This $8.6 billion request for fiscal year 2020 would allow the administration to more than complete the promised 722 miles, and White House officials tell Fox News that with the crisis worsening at the border, those funds are more important than ever. The New York Times, citing government statistics, reported last week that the number of migrant families crossing the southwest border has hit an 11-year high, causing major humanitarian concerns.
“The system is well beyond capacity, and remains at the breaking point,” Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan told reporters last week.
In a joint statement, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said:
“President Trump hurt millions of Americans and caused widespread chaos when he recklessly shut down the government to try to get his expensive and ineffective wall, which he promised would be paid for by Mexico,” Schumer and Pelosi said. "Congress refused to fund his wall and he was forced to admit defeat and reopen the government. The same thing will repeat itself if he tries this again. We hope he learned his lesson...
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