In late September, the United States government announced the construction of eight prototype border walls for the Mexican border, a primary promise President Donald Trump made during his presidential campaign.
The Customs and Border Protection said four of the prototypes are going to be made of concrete, and the others are going to be made from “alternate or other materials.” Trump made claims during his campaign that the wall will be “big” and “beautiful.”
The prototypes are said to be up to 30 feet tall and officials will spend up to three months evaluating the designs.
While many of President Trump’s supporters are in favor of the wall, I think the wall is a really bad idea for many reasons:
1. The number of illegal immigrants from Mexico is declining. There are more Mexicans leaving the United States than there are entering the United States illegally. Between 2009 and 2014, more 1 million illegal Mexican immigrants returned to Mexico where working conditions had improved and where they could be with their families.
2. The states where illegal immigration is increasing isn’t on the Mexican border. The states with rising illegal immigration are Washington, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Massachusetts and Louisiana. States on or close to the border, however, like California, Nevada, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina, have seen a decrease in illegal immigration to their states. That being said, a border wall won’t stop illegal immigration to these states, as these states aren’t on the Mexican border.
3. The Mexican border is already well-defended. A wall won’t improve the defenses. The United States already spends $3.7 billion per year to keep around 21,000 Border Patrol agents on guard and another $3.2 billion on 23,000 inspectors at ports of entry, even at parts that are already walled or fenced off. The United States already pays more than $6 billion per year on defense on the Mexican border, and a wall isn’t going to improve much there.
4. There’s no way Mexico will pay for it, as President Trump has promised numerous times. On Jan. 11, President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto said Mexico wouldn’t be footing the bill for the border wall. This, of course, means taxpayers, not Mexico, will have to pay for the wall.
5. The wall would be a waste of money. Experts have estimated that the wall would cost an additional $25 billion. With that money, the United States could build new elementary schools, send veterans to college or install renewable energy sources to power homes or public places. We could also use this money to feed people who don’t have access to much food. In other words, this money could be used to help many hard-working Americans.
If the wall does get built, it will no doubt be as “big” and “beautiful” as President Trump has promised numerous times, but the money used to build this unnecessary wall could be – and should be – spent somewhere more beneficial to American families.