When then-presidential candidate Donald Trump announced that he intended to build a wall along the US’ southern border with Mexico, he was met with outrage from those on the political left. They called him racist, xenophobic, bigoted, moronic, and a whole host of other buzzwords. Leftists and liberals, many of whom didn’t live in America and so didn’t have to deal with the consequences of illegal immigration, all immediately jumped on the anti-Trump bandwagon as a result of his proposal.
With this in mind, when the Dominican Republic announced recently that it would build a 236 mile-long fence along its border with Haiti, you would expect the same liberals and leftists who so vocally criticised Trump to also criticise Luis Abinader, the President of the Dominican Republic. After all, Abinader said the proposal was designed to stem the flow of illegal immigrants, drugs, and stolen vehicles which were pouring into the Dominican Republic, similar reasons to the ones given by Trump.
Particularly ‘conflictive’ areas would be fitted with a double fence, as well as motion sensors, infrared systems, and facial recognition systems. “In a period of two years, we want to put an end to the serious problems of illegal immigration, drug trafficking and the movement of stolen vehicles,” President Abinader told the Dominican Congress.
Much like the US, the Dominican Republic has a serious problem with illegal immigration. In a country with a population of 10.5 million, it has 500,000 Haitian immigrants, many of whom are in the Dominican Republic illegally. A month ago, the Dominican government promised to help the Haitian government provide identity documents to its citizens living in Dominican territory.
Yet unsurprisingly, those who criticised Trump so harshly just a few years ago are suddenly silent. They don’t care that the Dominican Republic is building a border fence, because the issue for these people was never Trump’s border wall. It was Trump. The leftists who criticised Trump have no principles, they just didn’t like Trump, and their outrage over his border wall was simply manufactured.
The idea has indeed received some criticism, including by some people who have drawn parallels to Trump, yet the backlash is nowhere near as severe as that faced by Trump. Juan Del Rosario, a professor at the Autonomous University in San Dominigo (the Dominican capital) said “there should not be a wall … while there remains extreme poverty and political instability in Haiti, which exerts migratory pressure.” Despite Rosario’s objections, the idea of a fence along its border with Haiti remains popular in the Dominican Republic.
Construction on the fence will begin in the second half of 2021.