What happened to convincing Mexico to pay for the wall?

Trump on immigration: ‘We want very tight, very strict borders’

President Donald Trump tells a Columbia, S.C. crowd that "Democrats want open borders' and "We want very tight, strict borders" while talking about building a wall on the border with Mexico.
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President Donald Trump tells a Columbia, S.C. crowd that "Democrats want open borders' and "We want very tight, strict borders" while talking about building a wall on the border with Mexico.

Donald Trump is again threatening a government shutdown if Congress doesn’t appropriate $5 billion to start constructing his “beautiful” border wall. But remember all the rallies and speeches where he repeatedly promised that Mexico would pay for the wall? “Believe me, Mexico will happily pay,” he said. Why? Because, he claimed, he’s an “incredible businessman” (despite much evidence to the contrary).

Well, Mexico hasn’t paid — and has always said it has no intention of paying — for the wall, and now he wants to burden American taxpayers with the cost. It’s likely he always knew Mexico would refuse to pay for the wall, but nevertheless continued to make his outlandish promise hoping his supporters would forget about it when 2020 rolled around. Let’s hope Americans have a better memory than he thinks they do.

Jack Hicks

Chapel Hill

Uphold the law

Congressmen Price and Butterfield? You are the sham. How many decades have you been in Congress? What have you done to fix things? Instead, you attack the very civil servants who swore an oath to protect this country and enforce the laws you passed as members of Congress (“ICE agents entrapped Mexican man, 2 lawmakers from NC say,” Nov. 25).

Have you no shame? Using the plight of illegal immigrants to score political points. Your comments do nothing but stir up the violence that is occurring.

Paul Terrell


Needed oversight

The recent deportation of Samuel Oliver-Bruno by ICE demonstrates once again that the people charged with protecting our borders are acting like thugs. When the law is applied without regard for basic human decency, we as a society must reassert control over a clearly broken process.

Separating parents from children, removing a spouse who is caring for a gravely ill partner, and violating the sanctuary extended by a church community to a member in need are despicable acts. Congressional oversight must be restored. We need full public disclosure on how this process is working and how it is affecting the people being harmed.

We need to see where bias and racism are affecting outcomes. We need to see where human rights are being violated. We need to see all this to ensure we provide a system that lives up to our country’s ideals.

Peter van Dorsten


UNC coverage

As a News & Observer subscriber for over 20 years, I strongly object to the front-page coverage recently devoted to Margaret Spellings’ resignation as UNC system president (“Spellings reflects on UNC accomplishments, future,” Nov. 29). I’m sincerely skeptical of what precisely she has been able to achieve after a mere three years in such a high level job regardless of her talents.

If she was doing such an outstanding job, how come she’s leaving with only 60 percent of her contract fulfilled? Coverage like this only panders to her and executive-level people of her ilk whose over-inflated egos are only surpassed by their over-inflated compensation packages.

Craig A. Ashby

Holly Springs

ID issues

A cautionary tale for our lawmakers who support voter ID legislation: This is my experience attempting to get a Real ID Driver’s License.

I appeared at the DMV with my required documents: a valid U.S. passport, my current driver’s license and Social Security card, along with my vehicle registration card and a utility bill with my current address. I had done my homework and was prepared.

When I presented these documents I was told, most politely, that I could not receive a Real ID. Here is the reason — my passport (with my picture) contains my first and last names; my driver’s license (with my picture) contains my first, middle and last names; my Social Security card has my first name, middle initial and last name. Because the requirement calls for a perfect match, I was deemed ineligible.

What hoops will people have to jump through to get an acceptable voter ID? I ask our legislators to remember who it is they serve — not their political party, not those who line their coffers, but the people of this state. All of whom, including the poorest, deserve a chance to vote.

Cynthia Strauff Schaub


Looking back

Let’s hope UNC basketball coach Roy Williams doesn’t retire any time soon, because if the new football coach is any indication of what athletic director Bubba Cunningham might do, he would probably replace Ole Roy with Matt Doherty.

Alex G. MacFadyen, Jr, UNC ‘64


Swing voters

The electorate’s normal voting patterns seems to be one third Republican, one third Democratic with the middle third swinging back and forth based on issues and candidates. These swing voters need a reason to cast their votes, and there are several glaring issues which would resonate well in 2020.

Environmental disasters past and present have hurt every part of the country. Automation is advancing, so training for the jobs of the future can prepare workers to combat overseas competition. The coal states might be willing to abandon their mines for open-air, good paying jobs on solar and wind farms. All would benefit from infrastructure improvements with high speed rail, road and electrical grid improvements.

All citizens would benefit from the end of one-party monopolies with fair voting rules and reasonable election laws. Either party could push for the reestablishment of congressional oversight of behavior and legislative norms curbing the excesses of the executive branch, overreaching regulative agencies, and primary focused, term-limit averse, quarrelsome, arrogant, legislators.

Bill Krupp


Emissions goals

Thank you for printing the article regarding Gov. Cooper’s plan to cut state greenhouse gas emissions, “Cooper sets global warming goal to cut NC greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent” (Oct. 29). I am relieved that a representative of state government is willing to step up to the plate by taking this initiative. State and local leaders are going to have to act on behalf of North Carolina’s citizens, and I hope that all N.C. legislators will work with Gov. Cooper towards immediate implementation of his plan.

The looming crisis of climate change must be dealt with now. This should not be something that divides along party lines, but instead brings government members together in a collaborative effort.

Jen Almond