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Austin Bans Border Wall Builders

Photo by: Mani Albrecht U.S. Customs and Border Protection

It seems Austin has a case of the border-wall blues! In a move similar to other progressive-leaning metropoles, the Austin City Council “‘passed a resolution on Thursday that prohibits the city from doing business with contractors employed to design, build, or maintain a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.'”

The reason for this resolution was summed up by Austin’s Mayor Steve Adler, quoted in a Newsweek article, and it’s about what you’d expect. “‘The border wall is not about keeping us safe,’ Adler told reporters on Thursday. ‘It’s a political symbol of fear and division.'” Mayor Adler failed to elaborate whether a wall might serve any function other than as a symbol of fear, such as being an effective deterrent to unauthorized entry for instance, but I digress.

The move by Austin has, naturally, been criticized by the Trump administration as “‘blackball[ing],'” but it is well within the city’s purview to pass such a resolution. What seems strange about it is the timing. To date, there is no guarantee Washington will construct a border wall. No legislation has been passed to finance Trump’s proposed wall, and negotiations on the matter are no where near being settled. In fact, with the current and future projected political makeup of D.C., it seems doubtful that a such a federal wall will actually be built. So, beyond the non-tangible benefits of virtue-signaling, passing such a resolution seems at least premature, if not tilting at windmills.

Council Member Sabino Renteria, a sponsor of the resolution, did point a key solution for the issues involving the border, though I’d guess the councilman was oblivious that he had suggested it.

“If Texas were its own country, it would rank second, only behind the U.S., in total trade with Mexico, second as the biggest buyer of Mexican exports and second as the largest supplier of imports to Mexico,” Council Member Sabino Renteria said. “But Texas and Mexico are so much more than business partners. We have a shared history. And more importantly, we have a shared future. That is why we in Austin are interested in building economic bridges, not expensive walls.”

“If Texas were its own country,” that’s the only solution that actually might work. Pro-wall or anti-wall, this will never be a decision that Texans can decide for themselves while shackled to Washington. We will get precisely what were told we’re getting, like it or not! But, if Texas recalled her sovereignty from D.C., then we would be free to build a wall or come up with our own different solution to the border crisis. We will never know how well we could solve our own problems while we seem content to remain a boot-licking member of the Union, accepting the lie that we are merely a county in Washingtonland and not a sovereign state. Texas, we can do better than this!

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