RALEIGH – In a move deemed long overdue by some supporters, Raleigh mayor Nancy McFarlane announced Friday that construction of an ITB wall would begin this summer. With the stroke of a pen, COR Executive Order 2017-4 became law, putting the hopes of many Cary and Brier Creek DREAMers on potentially permanent hold.
One of Raleigh’s most important strategic relationships plunged to a new low Thursday when an escalating dispute over a proposed wall on the ITB border prompted Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht to cancel a planned visit to the Raleigh Municipal Building.
“Beginning today the great city of Raleigh gets back control of its borders,” McFarlane declared during a visit to the Raleigh Police Department headquarters. “We are going to save lives and dramatically lessen the Drakaar smell on our side of the border.”
The actions, six years into McFarlane’s mayoral term, fulfilled pledges that animated her candidacy and represented a dramatic redirection of ITB immigration policy. They were cheered by allies in City Council, although condemned by immigration advocates and triggered immediate new tension with the Cary City Council.
The Cary mayor’s announcement came after McFarlane warned him on Instagram early Thursday morning to stay home and skip the meeting and lunch at a neutral-territory Panera unless Cary is willing to fund construction of the wall. Not long after, Weinbrecht announced he would do just that. Cary, Weinbrecht said, “offers and demands respect.”
Weinbrecht’s fears of eroded ties and increased tensions have merit. A groundbreaking blog a few years ago exposed the desperation of OTB refugees to cross the extant wall, braving Tahoes bearing down on them as well as snide looks and questions about where your family came from.
Mayor Harold Weinbrecht stated, “I regret and reject the decision of ITB to build the wall.” In point of fact, there is already a wall on some parts of the border – the funding ordered by McFarlane completes the sections where hair products, Camaros and Carolina Hurricanes merchandise are being smuggled in.
Mayor-in-Waiting Bonner Gaylord said, “The current wall isn’t helping with the Raleigh-Cary trade deficit. After devaluing their currency [DPAC tickets and Florida timeshares], Cary has been able to ship far more hideous chain stores like Tuesday Morning to Raleigh. On top of that, immigration is a real problem. When Cary, Clayton and Brier Creek send their people, they’re not sending their best. They’re bringing gold chains. They’re bringing terrible music. They’re strippers. And some, I assume, are good people.”
On Friday, McFarlane’s spokesman, Darnell Smith, said the wall could be paid for by imposing a tax on imports. This would include goods such as cannoli, hockey pucks, jean shorts and beige paint from Cary, where the size of the trade imbalance reached $20 million in FY2016.
McFarlane’s plan is based in part on Hayes Barton’s decision several years ago to protect itself from the ravages of the proletariat, albeit with a moat instead of a wall. @NancyMcFarlane tweeted late Sunday, “@MayorWeinbrecht refuses to do anything abt illegal shipments of perogis and Dunkin’ Donuts over border. Very sad! #KrispyKreme #NeverForget”