During President Trump’s rise to the presidency, we heard the same phrase over and over again: “We will build a wall!”
As a Trump supporter, the idea seemed to be so simple that it sounded like it might actually work. Often, when non-political Americans sit down to watch a candidate’s debate, they only see complex policies and ideas being thrown around. That complexity can ruin the political illusion for potential voters, and they become uninterested.
However, the simplicity and boldness President Trump channeled when making such a blanket, radical statement regarding illegal immigration stimulated the interests of atypical voters. This is precisely how he won.
Nevertheless, now that the time has come to put this wildly publicized reform to action, we have to analyze the advantages of the border wall versus the cost. We must ask ourselves if, despite President Trump’s enthusiasm for the wall, we actually want to follow through with this.
The answer is yes. For the first time, there are real resources devoted to the proposal make the idea seem attainable.
One major issue is funding the massive project: estimates of the wall’s costs range from $12 billion to $22 billion. As a response, Senator Ted Cruz recently developed the “Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order Act“–or “El Chapo Act.” The act sets aside the $14 billion dollars in assets the government would seize from prosecuting the Mexican drug lord, whose real name is Joaquin Guzman, to begin payments for the border wall.
In other words, if the Act passes, black market money from Mexico could actually pay for the wall.
In addition, some serious agencies are now getting involved with the wall’s construction. According to CNN, the Trump team is discussing border wall operations with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of the Interior. Trump, when asked what the barrier would actually be, made it clear that “It’s not a fence. It’s a wall.”
The wall as an idea is not racist, and it is not inhumane. It isn’t even new: the Romans built Hadrian’s Wall a century after the birth of Christ to keep out barbarians. The Great Wall of China, a world-famous landmark and tourist attraction, once defended China from northern invaders. Today, one excellent example of a wall comes from Israel, which Trump has spoken out in support of before. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even tweeted in support of Trump’s border wall plan in late January, mainly because of Israel’s successful use of its security wall.
A physical barrier blocking the southern border of the United States shows the importance of legal immigration to the country. You cannot have a country without borders. This wall is a first step of many needed to begin sustainable undocumented immigration reform.