First there is the wall that "El Pendejo" insists that he will construct. Such a wall would be an engineering nightmare as the 2000 mile border crosses desolate deserts, rugged mountains, canyons and rivers. Plus there are the legal hassles of building the wall on privately owned property, Indian reservations and national parks. "El Pendejo" says the wall would cost 8 to 12 billion dollars; others say that it would cost tens of billions and take 16 years to build. (If we look at the fences.. not walls... that were built along the border between San Diego and Tijuana, the cost ran to about 4 million dollars per mile. 4 million x 2000 = 8 trillion dollars!) Add to that the cost of increased border patrol and maintenance to make such a project even remotely effective.
"El Pendejo" says that Mexico will pay for this wall, and Mexico justifiably says "No way, José." If they won't pay, he says, we will get the money through taxes and tariffs. A trade war with Mexico would certainly hurt Mexico's economy, but it would also hurt U.S. businesses. The U.S. exports around 235 billion dollars of goods annually to Mexico. Some Mexicans are already calling for a boycott of U.S. companies.
Then there was the telephone call between "El Pendejo" and the President of Mexico. "El Pendejo" said that he should send U.S. troops south of the border to fight the bad "hombres" (drug cartels). He later said that the remark was "light hearted". Hey, anyone with an ounce of diplomatic skill would know that you don't joke about sending in troops when talking to the sovereign leader of an ally!
Finally, while I was in Mexico I heard a lot on the radio about incidents that have not received any publicity here. I do not know how widespread this is, but there have been cases of Mexican citizens with valid visas being turned away by U.S. immigration officials. The latest case, reported to me by my friend Alejandro, is of a Mexican woman traveling to the U.S. When she went through immigration, the official inspected her cell phone. When he found anti-Trump jokes on her phone, he denied her admittance. Again, I do not know how widespread this is, but it is enough of a problem that Mexican radio is broadcasting warnings to Mexican tourists to the U.S. and providing a telephone number to call in case of human rights abuses.
Is it any wonder that Alejandro is afraid to travel to the U.S., and will probably not make his annual visit to Ohio?