Impact of the Border Wall
The border which separates Mexico from the United States stretches from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. During his campaigns, Donald Trump promise to construct a wall separating the US from Mexico. Now that Trump is in office and wants to fulfill all his campaign promises, he has vowed to continue with his plan to construct approximately 1900 miles wall. The reasons for construction are to minimize illegal immigration and secure the United States from Mexicans. The wall suggestion has created heated debates in both houses of the US parliament and analysts. The US residents have also expressed different opinions on why the wall should be built or not. As the wall construction debate continues in the Senate, president Trump has continued to deploy troops to protect what he terms as a porous border. The varied opinions from the US legislators, the general public, and the analysts brings us to the question, should Trump build the US – Mexico border wall?
From the American history, several border walls have been build and troops deployed to guard the wall, which has resulted in profound consequences to the American society (Massey 160). From the past, barriers have not offered accurate solutions to bordering societal challenges such as illegal immigration. Historical proofs that a wall is not enough solution to solve unauthorized immigration discredits Trump’s decision to have the long US-Mexico border wall. The fact that Trump’s government has not thoroughly researched on the impact of the wall makes it a vague idea on arrival. Borders walls have been broken in the past and people crossed over. An excellent historical example which trump compared to in his support for the Mexico-US wall is the Great Wall of China. The 13000 miles wall was built to protect China from attacks from the north and also prevent Manchu invaders. The Manchurians eventually broke the barrier and invaded China.
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History has several substantial wall projects which ultimately failed. The trump wall is not an exception as it is bound to fail. Creating partitions without solving impending inter-country problems has never offered a robust solution to the immigration problem. The unlawful immigration of the Mexicans is a long-term problem that dates back to early 19th century. Most immigrants are undocumented and have successfully forged their way into the United States amidst tight security checks. (Newell et al 183-186). Therefore, Trump should consider other options to prevent illegal immigration before settling on the war.During his campaign, Trump repeatedly promised that the wall would be built at the expense of Mexicans. Even after clinching to power, president Trump has insisted that Mexicans will pay for the wall. Since there was no prior agreement with the Mexican government on financing, trump’s idea will be difficult to implement. The president of Mexico has confirmed that his government would not fund the border wall. For Trump to successively build the wall, he has to overcome several legal, physical and moral barriers. For instance, most border property is owned by individuals. Federal governments of Arizona, California and the New Mexico control nearly 70% of the border fences. Building the wall would require negotiations with the federal governments and individuals who own the border property. The fact that Trump appears to promise a wall he hasn’t solved the majority of problems that may hinder the start of the wall project makes it unnecessary to begin the project.
Border fences have an impact on the movement of wild animals. Despite blocking the illegal flow of people from one country to another, border wall also affects animals. The significant effects on native animals include fragmenting populations, hindering migration of animals or even causing death through entanglement (Trouwborst, Fleurke, and Dubrulle 291). The international border law prohibits construction of border walls when it prohibits sensitive laws such as the wildlife law. According to the Scientific American, trump’s wall may pose a considerable threat to several species of animals and plants on the border. In the Sky Islands, over 7000 species of wildlife may find it difficult to cross the border. The wall once constructed is poised to prevent free movement of feral cats in the southern desert. The cats add aesthetic beauty making the southern deserts a destination for many conservationists. The wall would disconnect wildlife. Wildlife species with specific traits would be profoundly affected by the border wall. Wildlife species likely to be interfered with by the wall barriers include the ferruginous pygmy, bighorn sheep, and the black bears. A genetic study reveals a close relation of the bears in southern Arizona in Mexico than those in northern Arizona. Since the population of the bears in the region is small, creating a wall barrier would confine genetically closely related bears in one place leading to inbreeding. The inbreeding may ultimately lead to the extinction of the black bear species in the long run. A wildlife study has shown an incredible gene flow between the bighorn populations in Mexico and US. A war barrier would interfere with the sheep network as it would hinder the Mexican sheep from repopulating to the US habitats like in case of an increased human population in one region. The interference with wildlife provides an adequate reason why America does not need the trump US- Mexico border wall.
The wall would not come easy as it would cost the US taxpayers. In March this year, president Trump announced that the US government would finance 100 miles of the border wall. As written by Ron Nixon, Trump promised to facilitate replacing of some existing barriers such as the 28 miles wall in the San Diego area. Economists argue that the total price of constructing the wall would be a significant burden on US economy. Trump promised that Mexicans would pay for the wall, something that the Mexican president has publicly made it clear that he would not participate in the border wall construction. The Mexican president’s public exclusion from the border wall leaves the United States as the lone financier of the project. For Trump to complete the development of the 2000 miles wall, he may find himself reducing money from vital state organs such as the military and healthcare. The projected cost of $25 billion is a heavy burden for the country. Trumps project would not only include fence construction but also purchasing of sensors, surveillance technology, and aircraft. This would further increase the cost. It would, therefore, be wise for Trump to drop the ambitious wall project and focus on cheaper alternatives to protect the border.
The wall project by itself would not solve all illegal immigration challenges. Cartels and criminal agencies who bribe border agents to access the US from Mexico would still find a way to enter. Research of border walls from other nations such as the Berlin Wall shows that a wall may not offer the best solution to the immigration challenges. The evaluation of similar wall projects such as Israel’s Southern Immigration Border. The wall was constructed to stop African immigrants from African nations such as Sudan and Eritrea from entering Israel. While the wall was a significant step in reducing illegal immigration challenge, it has not stopped all immigration cases. Although there is a clear correlation between border wall construction and the numbers of immigrants, experts argue that the Israel border wall has only led to a partial decrease of immigrants. Other factors such as increased border security and use of technology have played a significant role too. The Israel government has enacted a law which would target to harden the lives of the immigrants. The government passed two bills, one banning immigrants from carrying money out of Israel and the other one requiring that the immigrants’ employers deposit a 20% of their employee’s salary into a bank account which can only be withdrawn once the immigrant employee exits the country (Flores 10).
These laws make immigrants life difficult in Israel and have a significant contribution to stopping the immigration problem in Israel. The case of Israel successfully using other methods to stop illegal immigration is a proof that Trump’s wall is not necessary.Interviews have revealed how Mexican immigrants have successfully acquired information that has helped them access the United States. The interviews contacted at the border towns of Mexico such as Nogales in 2015 revealed that Mexican migrants use current technologies such as mobile phones to access information which makes it easier to cross the border. The migrants have mastered the art of using mobile phones to communicate with their guides, relatives, and friends without falling victims of brutal border police and thugs. The Mexican migrants camp at the border with hopes of accessing entry to the US despite the tight surveillance and security at the border.
The interviews contacted by Routledge group at border areas of Nogales in 2014 revealed that the migrants could access the information they require to cross to the United stated by use of internet, computers and cell phones. The mystery of the word of mouth revelations shows that the migrants successfully used ICT which facilitated their US migration ambitions. The migrants posed as needy people at the border camps where humanitarian groups which supplied them with basic needs such as food and water when in reality they were plotting to cross to US (Newell, Gomez, and Guajardo 177). The interview revelations tell much about the immigration challenge. The fact that the interviews were contacted only at the Nogales section of the border reveals how the Mexico-US immigration challenge is complicated. Despite gaining immense media attention in 2014, there has been no significant measure taken to resolve the issue. The use of ICT reveals the information power possessed by the immigrants. Trump should first find a solution the Mexican border undocumented immigrants before resulting to building the wall. Therefore, Trump’s government has much more prominent challenges to solve than building the wall.The trump wall project is controversial as there are many unsolved cases regarding taxes and border proposal agreements. An agreement of the exact cost of the wall has not been agreed. The Trumps government estimates the total cost of the wall to be $8 to $15 billion. Nonetheless, the Department of Homeland Security abbreviated as DHS estimate the border wall cost to range from $15 to $40 billion (Carbaugh and Sipic 386).
Additionally, the cost of maintaining the wall has not been decided. Trump’s opponents discredit the idea of the wall as they argue that the number of undocumented Mexican migrants has significantly reduced since 2008. The critics say that the Obama government’s strict enforcement on border security significantly decreased the immigration challenge and that the wall project is not necessary (Carbaugh and Sipic 387). The disagreement on who to pay for the border wall has also fueled the critics’ disapproval of the project. Trump promised to have the wall build on Mexican governments expense. The Mexico president Enrique Pena has publicly assured Mexicans that they would not pay for the wall. Trump is now left to find other means to fund the wall which analysts argue that whichever means used, the wall will be expensive. Some methods proposed by Trump such as blocking Mexican remittances and imposing unnecessary taxes on Mexicans’ at the border would only fuel disagreements between the bordering countries. Trump should, therefore, drop the wall project.Trump’s recent tweets on the border situation are just an exaggeration on the whole US- Mexico border situation. According to CNN, Trumps decision to send troops to the border to stop caravan Central Americans migrants who were headed to the limit. Trump is said to have signed a surprising memo warning of a crisis and calling for National Guard troops to aid solve the problem. Critics argue that Trump was not justified to deploy troops on the border. Locals interviewed by CNN revealed that they did not see the need of having the military at the edge. The locals believed that border patrol personnel was well trained and enough to handle that caravan migrants challenge.
The caravans retaliated by responding to Trumps April 2018 tweets and telling Trump that they were not wrong people and were people in need. Trumps rushed decision to send over 4000 troops to prevent the caravan shows that Trump can sometimes make unnecessary decisions. The decision to build the US-Mexico wall is, therefore, a rushed one and needed to be reevaluated. The above mentions reasons justify the reason why Trump should drop the decision to cut the wall project. Trump should focus on other solutions to hinder illegal immigration before building the wall.
- Carbaugh, Bob, and Toni Sipic. “Paying for the Trump Wall Boondoggle.” Challenge 60.4 (2017): 386-396.
- Durand, Jorge, and Douglas S. Massey, eds. Crossing the border: Research from the Mexican migration project. Russell Sage Foundation, 2004.
- Gomez Romero, Luis. “Twitter diplomacy: how Trump is using social media to spur a crisis with Mexico.” (2017): 1.
- Heyman, Josiah McC. “Constructing a virtual wall: Race and citizenship in US-Mexico border policing.” Journal of the Southwest (2008): 305-333.
- Fleurke, Ir Nikky. “The mixed-use complex as Eco-City concept.” Infrastructure Systems and Services: Next Generation Infrastructure Systems for Eco-Cities (INFRA), 2010 Third International Conference on. IEEE, 2010.