Relief, not a wall, needed


Kokomo Tribune

If you had to name one of the President Trump’s main campaign promises, the pledge to build a wall along our southern border and force Mexico to pay for it would have to be near the top of the list.

Last August, as Hurricane Harvey’s floodwaters continued to inundate Gulf Coast residencies, Trump took to Twitter to reiterate his assurances.

“With Mexico being one of the highest crime Nations in the world, we must have THE WALL. Mexico will pay for it through reimbursement/other,” he tweeted on Aug. 27, 2017.

The Mexican government responded to these statements by once again politely batting down the wall idea, and offering a hand of friendship to us in our time of need.

“As the Mexican government has always stated, our country will not pay, under any circumstances, for a wall or physical barrier built on US territory along the Mexican border,” the statement read. “The Mexican government takes this opportunity to express its full solidarity with the people and government of the United States as a result of the damages caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, and expresses that it has offered to provide help and cooperation to the US government in order to deal with the impact of this natural disaster — as good neighbors should always do in trying times.”

Mexico put aside petty politics during last year’s hurricane emergency. Trump did not.

“Trump is promising billions to help Texas rebuild from Harvey-caused epic flooding, but his Republican allies in the House are looking at cutting almost $1 billion from disaster accounts to help finance the president’s border wall,” reported The Associated Press on Aug. 30, 2017. “The $876 million cut, which is included in the 1,305-page measure’s homeland security section, pays for roughly half the cost of Trump’s down payment on the U.S.-Mexico border wall that the president repeatedly promised Mexico would finance.”

Congress instead added $39 million to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Today, thousands still are struggling with the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, which struck the Florida Panhandle as a Category 4 storm, killing 17. Most people affected don’t have flood insurance. Water could be in people’s living spaces for quite some time. The water itself is toxic and will cause additional health-related issues.

Michael certainly will end up being more expensive than the president’s billion-dollar down payment on his wall. Around 1.3 million homes and businesses were still without power in Florida, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas.

A lot of Americans need help right now, not politics as usual or a border wall.

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