September 11 at 7:52 PM

Just because Donald Trump isn’t qualified to be president — and just because much of his agenda is hateful and undesirable — doesn’t mean that everything he says is automatically wrong. Some of his ideas deserve consideration and enactment. One of these is building a wall across our southern border with Mexico.

It has been ridiculed as a monstrosity and a colossal waste of money. The theory of the wall is that it keeps out low-wage workers and, thereby, raises the wages of U.S. workers, including earlier Hispanic arrivals. They are most vulnerable to additional Hispanic workers, because their skills generally overlap.

Just what a wall would cost is unknown. Guesses vary. Trump has said $8 billion. A detailed report by AllianceBernstein, a research firm, estimated between $15 billion and $25 billion. These sums seem (and are) large, but within a $4 trillion federal budget, they’re modest.

The crucial question is: If we had a wall, what would we get for it? The answer: A wall probably represents our best chance of reaching broad agreement on immigration policy, a subject that has frustrated Congress and the two most recent presidents.

Let’s be clear on one issue: Trump’s insistence that Mexico pay for the wall is absurd . No self-respecting Mexican president would accept it. If one did, the wall would become a subject of endless bickering between the two countries as to who actually owned and controlled it. The fact that Trump made this so central to his proposal suggests that he’s simply grandstanding.

More here.