San Diego

Former US Immigration Official Criticizes Border Wall Plans

A former top-ranked U.S. Immigration official said the U.S.- Mexico border is "more secure than ever" and criticized President Trump's proposed border wall as "not needed, and not feasible" because of the cost.

Alan Bersin, former acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol during the Obama administration, spoke at a private reception at Point Loma Nazarine Universty on Saturday for the City Club of San Diego.

At the event, Bersin predicted that a legal challenge to the wall filed by California might block portions of the wall for environmental reasons, but will not totally derail Trump's signature project.

Bersin said a close analysis of Trump's comments on the controversial project indicates that "it's not going to be the Great Wall of China, but will be a see-through wall" in places and less of a physical barricade than a high-tech deterrent to illegal immigration.

Bersin predicted that a badly divided Congress will not approve legislation to extend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) plan, which would protect the 800,000 "dreamers" bought in the U. S. illegally as youngsters by their families.

Bersin said the fate of DACA most likely rests with the courts.

He predicted that if the judiciary strikes down DACA, "...there will be mass deportations."

Bersin added that the president, who he feels is "ambivalent" about DACA, might prevent deportations by fashioning a revised compromise directive.

Bersin said the president's views on the fate of the "dreamers," and their contribution to the country, is shared by all but a small, hard-core anti-immigrant segment of Trump supporters.

Bersin is a former San Diegan who served as U.S. Attorney for Southern California during the Clinton administration. He was also superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District before moving to Washington, D.C., where he also worked as the Chief Diplomatic Officer for the Department of Homeland Security.

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