In response to the January 6 attack of the U.S. Capitol, acting Capitol Police chief Yogananda Pittman has called for a permanent wall to surround the U.S. Capitol building.
“In light of recent events, I can unequivocally say that vast improvements to the physical security infrastructure must be made to include permanent fencing, and the availability of ready, back-up forces in close proximity to the Capitol,” Pittman said in a statement.
Erecting a wall at the Capitol building reaffirms the need for a wall at the nation’s southern border. Majorities of Americans support construction of a fortified barrier to help secure our borders and maintain public safety. However, they have often been stymied or outright ignored by prominent Democrats.
Pelosi and Schumer also didn’t seem to like walls when they were built to protect President Trump and the White House. Last June, the White House erected barricades around Lafayette Park after a series of intense protests. In response, these two specific lawmakers sent a letter to President Trump urging him to “tear down these walls.”
And yet, when asked about the idea of a permanent wall around the Capitol building, Pelosi’s office deflected and stated: “The speaker looks forward to…[a]final assessment in order to understand what infrastructure changes are necessary to ensure the safety of the U.S. Capitol Complex.”
Similarly, Schumer said he “would tend to defer to the experts as to what is the safest way to be.”
These meandering responses expose their rank hypocrisy. They are not ruling out support for a security fence around the Capitol while opposing not only the southern border fence (for the nation) but fencing for the White House when the opposing political party was in office.
The political gamesmanship here is unmatched.
Any notion that building a barrier around the Capitol building is effective or necessary but is not at our southern border (or the Trump White House for that matter) is a disgrace.
The southern border continues to experience large waves of migration and a fortified border barrier is necessary more than ever. Recent migration trends at our southern border should cause immediate concern. Border apprehensions have climbed every month since April even with COVID-19 travel and border restrictions. Last month’s apprehension totals were the largest for December in roughly two decades. While not all of these individuals pose national security threats, many in fact do, as seen by the thousands of migrants arrested for previous criminal convictions in the last few years. And, everyone who enters our country without a medical testing and a period of quarantine poses a dire health risk, including the introduction of new strains of COVID.
The threat at our southern border is very real and just like for the Capitol building, many experts and studies have affirmed that a barrier is essential for the nation’s national security and public safety. The Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have repeatedly highlighted the effectiveness and necessity of a border barrier. In December, Congress approved $1.4 billion in federal funding for the wall, further showing support for a fortified barrier.
If a barrier is to be permanently built around the U.S. Capitol building due to existing threats and expert analysis, the same logic must be applied to our southern border.
With Pelosi voting for the Secure Fence Act of 2006—which provided hundreds of miles of border— and Schumer helping negotiate a bill in 2013 that provided barriers to the southern border, the two have demonstrated they can support the southern border wall, and must not continue to act in self-interest.