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Could There Be a Slower Response to an Actual “Invasion” at the Border Than Laboriously Building a 1,000-Mile Wall?

By BEN MATHIS-LILLEY

JAN 09, 2019

Let’s stipulate that there actually has recently been a dramatic and threatening increase, as Donald Trump claims, in the number of gang members, terrorists, and drug smugglers passing undetected across the U.S.-Mexico border in unprotected parts of the desert. There hasn’t been, but let’s be generous stipulators. Then let’s take a step back to ask: Even if everything Trump says about this “invasion“-level influx of criminals is true, could there be any slower and less urgent response to it than approving partial funding to eventually erect a 700-to-900 mile wall that will have to be built, after a complicated process of land acquisition, through remote wilderness?

In fact, there could be, and Slate has exclusively obtained a list of some of those options in the form of a secret memo that the Department of Homeland Security has submitted to the president laying out other possible approaches to what’s happening at the border. They are:

• Pouring thick, viscous maple syrup on it

• Having one person (“Homeland Security Bill”) dig a big trench along its length using a toy shovel from a sandbox and then turning that trench into a moat by filling it with water using a garden hose

• Positioning a tough-looking biker-type person (“Homeland Security T-Bone”) to stand by it with a look that says “don’t mess with this border”

• [Handwritten note that just says “Tectonic plates???”]

• [Drawing of a dinosaur labeled “Border Dinosaur”]

Sources indicate the president is currently leaning toward the last option. Interesting! In any case, this is very secret stuff. Don’t show it to our enemies!

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