The mainstream media have been whipping themselves up with excitement about the antics of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but the Democrats aren’t the only ones who can come up with inspiring young politicians. A firebrand Republican from West Virginia has stepped up to support President Trump’s planned border wall – and he’s still only 19 years old.
Caleb Hanna is the youngest African-American legislator in the US. A 19-year-old economics student at West Virginia State, he was sworn in as a state representative last month – and is already making his mark on West Virginia politics. Pro-life, pro-Second Amendment and staunchly Christian, he’s also a strong supporter of secure borders and the president’s flagship security project.
- Funding for the wall has become the biggest issue in US politics right now, with Democrats refusing to budge on releasing the money – and paralyzing most of our government in the process.
- Supporters of the wall have been looking for other sources of funds, all the way up to a GoFundMe appeal that so far has raised about $20 million in private donations.
- Now Caleb Hanna wants to help. Hanna, who said in his acceptance speech, “At a time when politics has become unhinged, I’ll be a voice of reason, and I won’t forget who I represent: the people of West Virginia”, says the wall is essential if his state wants to tackle its serious drug problems – West Virginia has the highest rate of fatal drug overdoses in the US.
- The main goal of the wall is to make it harder for illegal immigrants to cross our borders, but it’s going to have the same effect on drugs. Hanna wants to stop drugs flowing from Mexico, across the borders and north to the people he serves, so the wall is a cause that matters to him.
- To help pay for the barrier, Hanna is co-sponsoring a bill that will release some of the state’s cash surplus and transfer it to the wall project. He and fellow Republicans Carl and Patrick Martin want to allocate $10 million from West Virginia’s estimated $185 million cash reserve.
- On its own, the bill won’t make a huge difference to the project – the president says it’s going to take $5 billion to get the wall built. Every bit helps, though, and more importantly the bill might persuade larger, richer states to get on board too.