President Donald Trump’s obsession with building walls has apparently gone global.
Trump recently suggested to the Spanish government it should build a wall in the Sahara desert to address the migration crisis, according to Spain’s foreign minister Josep Borrell.
Spain has experienced a surge in migration, particularly over the past year as thousands of people attempt to make the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean in search of a better life in Europe.
The European country has seen over 30,000 migrants and refugees arrive by sea so far in 2018, making Spain the top destination for migrants arriving via the Mediterranean. Moroccans represent the largest single nationality arriving in Spain, but people are coming from other countries in Africa as well.
Nearly 2,000 people have died attempting to make the journey across the sea to Europe in 2018 so far.
Trump famously called for a wall to be built along the US-Mexico border to stop illegal immigration to the US during his 2016 presidential campaign, and now apparently feels it can help Europe as well.
When Spanish diplomats told Trump building a wall across the Sahara desert would be no easy feat the president said, “The Sahara border can’t be bigger than our border with Mexico,” according to Borrell.
The Sahara desert is roughly 3,000 miles long. Comparatively, the US-Mexico border spans roughly 2,000 miles.
Beyond the sheer size of the Sahara, the other challenge to building such a wall is the fact Spain would need permission to do so from the African countries the massive desert stretches across.
Borrell spoke of Trump’s Sahara wall suggestion at a lunch in Madrid this week, but did not clarify when the president made these remarks. But The Guardian reports it could’ve been when the Spanish foreign minister accompanied King Felipe and Queen Letizia to the White House in June.
When asked for more details on Borrell’s comments, a spokesman for the foreign ministry told The Guardian, “We can confirm that’s what the minister said, but we won’t be making any further comment on the minister’s remarks.”
It seems Trump struggles to avoid discussing his desired border wall in almost any context, and on Tuesday said a recent visit to a 9/11 memorial in Pennsylvania gave him more inspiration for his vision.
“They built this gorgeous wall where the plane went down in Pennsylvania. Shanksville. And I was there. I made the speech. And it’s sort of beautiful, what they did is incredible,” Trump told Hill.TV in an interview on Tuesday. “They have a series of walls, I’m saying, ‘It’s like perfect.’ So, so, we are pushing very hard.”
Trump’s plan for a border wall along the US-Mexico border has encountered many obstacles in Congress. The president has repeatedly claimed that construction on the wall is underway, but this is inaccurate.