As so often, “South Park” saw it coming. In “The Last of the Meheecans”— which first aired back in October 2011 — the obnoxious Cartman joins the US Border Patrol, only to find himself facing the wrong way as hordes of disillusioned Mexican workers seek to flee the economically depressed United States back to Mexico.
Undaunted, Cartman makes it his business to stop them leaving. After all, without Mexican labor, the US economy would grind to a halt.
Very often the Trump presidency feels as if it’s being written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the comic geniuses who created “South Park” more than 20 years ago. In this week’s episode, Trump/Cartman shuts down the federal government in retaliation for the Democratic Party’s leaders’ refusal to approve the border wall he campaigned for in 2016.
The net result is that the government employees responsible for controlling the vastly larger flow of people into the United States through airports don’t get paid. Desperate to end the shutdown, for which he is being blamed, Trumpman declares a national emergency under legislation that permits redirection of Department of Defense construction funds, provided it’s for purpose of military defense.
Trumpman’s attempt to use Defense money to build his wall is challenged and struck down in the courts, but he goes ahead anyway, only to run into a shortage of construction workers. The episode ends with the arrival of the “caravan” of Central American asylum-seekers (last seen in the November midterms episode), who gratefully accept jobs to build Trumpman’s wall.