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Hamilton: South of the filters, down Mexico way

The U.S. economy benefits from the flow of legal commerce and from legal immigration between the USA and our neighbors to the south and to the north. Therefore, we don’t need a Wall that acts like a prophylactic barrier. A condom, if you will. What we need are “filters” that keep the criminals and narcotics out, and allow industrious people and useful commercial products in.

Besides, there are places along our border with Mexico where rugged terrain and winding rivers make it impossible to construct a truly-effective Berlin-like Wall. But that’s where Mr. Trump’s “the-art-of-the-deal” could work. If the Congress and White House would work cooperatively with the International Boundary and Water Commission that was established back in 1889, we could trade stretches of rugged, hard-to-fence terrain lying inside the United States for stretches of more easily fenced terrain lying currently inside Mexico, ending up with a re-aligned border that looks more like back-and-forth saw tooth than a 1,989-mile straight line. Again, we would need someone who understands the “art-of-the-deal,” and how to create win-win situations to the benefit of both sovereign states.

Where it is physically possible to build a “Wall,” by employing military experts who understand the “static defense,” the U.S. has the skills and know-how to do so; however, a “static defense” should be backed up by a “defense-in-depth,” using an array of aviation and electronic assets to direct the actions of mobile vehicular and even foot patrols.

But this need not be a grim business. For example, on the Mexican side, we could provide free marijuana where the kind of lazy, indolent people we do not need in this country could lie about “wasting away in Marijuanaville.” And, at those “filters” where we want to slow the processing of people and goods, we could put the TSA in charge. The wait times would be so long that only the most industrious would eventually make it through. An indirect form of quality-control.

But, seriously, how do we pay for effective border control? That is where Title IX of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Statute (18 U.S.C. §§ 1961-1968), commonly referred to as the “RICO” statute, comes into play. As Donald Trump suggests, we take the drug cartel assets seized under the RICO statutes and use them to pay for the “Filter” stations. And, if the drug cartel seizures are not enough, we can look for other criminal enterprises where civil forfeiture penalties can be applied.

For example: What if the Clinton Foundation is found to be a giant money-laundering scheme for the Clinton family? In other words, a criminal enterprise. Under the RICO statutes, the U.S. could seize over $2 billion dollars from the Clinton Foundation that could be used toward securing our borders with Mexico and Canada.

Moreover, according to The Washington Post of April 5, illegal immigrants transfer about $2 billion dollars each month back to Mexico, 98 percent electronically. A modest tax on those electronic transfers could go into a fund to secure our borders. Thus, as Mr. Trump suggests, Mexico, in essence, gets to pay for his “Wall.” We report. On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, you decide.

Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame, and is a recipient of the University of Nebraska 2015 Alumni Achievement Award. He was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the Army Language School, the George Washington University, the Infantry School, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.