It’s starting to sound like Donald Trump has a one-solution-fits-all answer for every problem, no matter where in the world the problem may be. His plan to deal with the Mediterranean migration crisis happening in Spain is reportedly to build a wall.
And not just any wall; Trump suggested that the Spanish government build a wall across the Sahara desert to keep the refugees out. When told that that the Sahara has a massive border of 3,000 miles, Trump reportedly replied that “the Sahara border can’t be bigger than our border with Mexico,” according to The Guardian.
He is incorrect. A quick check with the History Channel shows that the U.S.-Mexico border is a little less than 2,000 miles in length, 1,254 miles of which are the Rio Grande River.
The story comes from Josep Borrell, Spanish Foreign Minister and former president of the European Parliament. It’s believed that Trump made the suggestion last June, when Borrell visited the White House with Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia. Borrell repeated the comments at an event in Madrid earlier this week.
Spain has been in the middle of a massive migration crisis recently. This year, more than 33,600 refugees have already arrived to Spain by sea, with 1,723 fatalities resulting. Spain has surpassed Italy and Greece as the European entry point for immigrants, according to the New York Post.
The Sahara border where Trump suggested building a wall is not on Spanish soil, which makes the plan logistically impossible. To carry out such a plan, Spain would have to work with several other countries to create the barrier. The Sahara encompasses nearly all of northern Africa. According to the Washington Post, the Sahara touches 11 countries, including Egypt, Libya, Sudan, and Tunisia. Other than the two polar deserts, the Sahara is the largest desert in the world and covers more than 3 million square miles.
Trump famously touted a U.S.-Mexico border wall while on the campaign trail, and has continued to repeat the plan while serving as president. Trump also famously said, repeatedly, that Mexico would pay for such a wall. The Mexican government has stated many times that they will not pay for this proposed project.
Just this week, the U.S. Senate passed a spending bill that has no funding whatsoever for the proposed border wall. Meanwhile, the Spanish government is showing no signs that it plans to take Trump’s advice and build a wall to fix their problems.