The Border Wall

The+Border+Wall

Miles Gorman, Writer

The Border Wall. It’s the issue politicians are debating, most activists are polarized on, and Republicans lobbying for. President Trump and the Republicans want to build “a great, huge wall,” while Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats say that “we should be building bridges, not walls.” The Border Wall would be a 2,100-mile wall up to fifty feet high on the US-Mexico Border, which Trump says will keep out illegal immigrants.

Proponents say that the Border Wall could stop almost half of illegal immigration from people who sneak through the border, which is almost 30% of illegal immigration. It’s important to stop this, as 30% is a large percent of immigration. Proponents say drugs pour through illegal border crossing sites at the Southern border, and they are right. 13.75% of drugs enter through illegal crossing sites. Another positive effect is that a wall provides an enforceable border. This is an important staple of a country. You cannot have a country without a border.

However, only 42% of Americans support the Wall. Most illegal immigration is caused by people entering legally and overstaying their visas.  A wall would be useless to prevent this. Another problem with the Wall is that would damage international relations and foreign trade. The United States depends heavily on imports coming from countries south of the border, like Mexico and Columbia. If Trump builds this wall, these countries would be aggravated and likely put tariffs on United States imports and exports. The United States economy would suffer severely. The Wall would also cost up to $70 billion, and up to $150 million a year to maintain. President Trump claims he will get Mexico to pay for the Wall using NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, but even if he was able to, that money would go to a different government department, which would not be able to be used on something like a wall, which is the Department of Homeland Security’s jurisdiction. So, it appears that the United States government would be footing the bill. That money has two ways to be raised: taking loans and raising the national debt, or paying outright and basically bankrupting the country’s budget on an endeavor we will get no money back from. Let’s zero in on the fact that the wall will provide no money in return. How will we pay back the loans? No country would lend us money for a project that they think they will get no returns from. The other option would be paying outright for the Wall, which is equally unwise.  It’s like buying a house on a debit card. It would completely deplete the government’s budget with no delay.

If you ask me, the Wall is a silly idea. We could get the job done better with strengthened security at legal checkpoints, more border security officers, and a faster asylum process to let more legal immigrants into the country faster so they do not get tired of waiting or become desperate and cross illegally. If you ask me, we need to build a great long bridge, not a huge tall wall. But that’s just my opinion. What’s yours?

 

Bibliography:

https://www.politifact.com/california/statements/2017/apr/28/scott-peters/would-trumps-border-wall-cost-same-one-and-half-us/

 

https://www.npr.org/2018/06/22/622246815/unauthorized-immigration-in-three-graphs