With a torrent of breaking news led by a worsening pandemic and a colicky sore loser’s conniption fit, important stories inevitably get buried. One development that received little press this week concerns a pair of whistleblowers who have managed to expose Donald Trump’s border wall as an even more insulting failure than we knew. This new puzzle piece of insight also serves as yet another stark reminder of the incredible depth and breadth of Trump’s corruption, incompetence, and amorality.
Trump’s wall was intended as a racist bludgeon to scare away anyone who does not fit an increasingly shrinking definition of legal immigrant. It was to be paid for by Mexico, without a penny coming from the American taxpayers he was always trying to dupe. Trump promised an “impenetrable” barrier “from sea to shining sea.” Instead, what little was built of the wall proved to be a shameless boondoggle that wreaked havoc on its natural surroundings while revealing faults at every step of construction.
The allegations in a recently unsealed False Claims Act complaint filed early this year by two former security contractors add a whole new level of head shaking over Trump’s beloved pet project. According to the whistleblowers, Sullivan Land Services, a construction company Trump hired to do his dirty work, smuggled Mexicans into the United States to guard the wall.
Without any government vetting, the Mexican workers were offered arms and cash to guard the construction sites. The company even built an illegal dirt road and blocked security cameras with trucks to facilitate the border crossings that Trump was supposedly so against. Ironically, not only did Mexico never pay for Trump’s wall, but the company Trump hired intentionally overcharged the U.S. government for the Mexicans’ work, according to the complaint, costing taxpayers bigly for this off-the-rails farce.
Speaking at her final campaign rally before the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton urged people to vote “for an America where we build bridges, not walls.” Four years later, despite more Trump-Russia collusion and without James Comey’s wildly inappropriate two cents, a record-breaking 81 million-plus Americans elected Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Slat by slat, Trump’s xenophobic wall will soon be carted off to the dustbin of history. It’s time for America to back away from the cliff of division and otherness and start building bridges again.