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Pressure is on Biden to tear down ‘every mile’ of Trump’s wall

More than any other legislative or executive achievement, President Donald Trump’s “wall” along the southern border of the United States is a monument to Trumpism and its policy of racial grievances.

Today, just days before the election that could topple Trump, some immigration advocates and legal experts have a message for the man who vowed to dismantle the president’s immigration legacy: Mr. Biden, tear down that wall.

“Trump’s border wall is just one more pretext to target immigrants and border communities,” said Dror Ladin, lawyer with the ACLU National Security Project. “The construction of this illegal border wall desecrated tribal lands, leveled the preservation of wildlife and destroyed border communities. Every illegal mile of wall must be torn down and the government must work with border communities to repair the damage that the construction of the wall has already inflicted.

Much of Trump’s legacy does not exist by law, but by executive order. Much like Trump did with his predecessor’s orders, Biden can reverse many of them with the stroke of his pen. The wall is different. Not only is it a physical fact of the landscape – steel and concrete cutting 371 miles of public and private land in half – but it is a statement of something authoritarians always assert: permanence. Prominent fascism scholar sees the wall as something Biden must destroy, lest he acquiesce.

“Biden has to do a lot of things, and that’s one of them,” said Jason Stanley, professor of philosophy at Yale and author of How Fascism Works. “The wall is simply symbolic. It’s like a Confederate monument. I can see people say, “OK, can’t we have these token arguments” but if you want to tackle a legacy of xenophobia – little kids chanting “build this wall” in front of their Mexican-American classmates – it’s hard to see how you can avoid facing this symbol of white nationalism.

The nativism that the manifested wall is deeply rooted in American history, long before Trump – by the time he took office, U.S. Customs and Border Protection estimated that about 580 miles of barrier were already in place on the along the 1954 mile mainland border with Mexico. Several activists interviewed for this article noted that the precursor authorities of the Wall, such as the REAL ID Act of 2005 and the Secure Fence Act of 2006, were passed with bipartisan support, reflecting a long-standing political consensus that encouraged or accepted nativism rather than confronting it. Biden voted for both bills, although REAL ID was incorporated into a much larger spending bill that all 100 Senators voted for.

“It is both Democrats and Republicans who have been responsible for the tragedy caused at our borders by the border wall,” said Vicki Gaubeca, director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition. “But we’re hoping Biden can wake up and smell the coffee – not only stop building the border wall, as he has promised to do, but tear it down completely.” When we take it apart, it must be done in a responsible way that does not harm the environment further. “

Pedro Rios, the director of the US-Mexico border program for the American Friends Service Committee, also advocates “pulling down the border wall” and removing the authorities behind it. He insisted on heeding Democratic political decisions that helped pave the way for a wall he wants to demolish.

“It is important for a potential Biden administration to recognize that the current harm the Trump administration has done and continues to do with the construction of a border wall is in part the responsibility of the Democratic Party for voting in favor of these measures 15 years ago, ”said Rios.

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