Border Wall? Bad Decision.

Ashka Patel, Staff Writer

President Donald Trump has asked for $67 billion to build a border wall, something he has supported since the beginning of his campaign. This cost appears to grow at the federal government’s will and does not take into account the $150 million to $750 million dollars required for maintenance each year. Trump originally claimed that Mexico would pay this large sum through a tax on Mexican imports, but recently has stated that Americans will be paying for it themselves. Considering that legislation does not have the exact logistics written out, it can be assumed that the wall would lead to an increase in taxes which would affect the majority of citizens, a costly expedition that might not even work. A “state-of-the-art” concrete wall standing 30 feet high stretching the full 1,933 miles of the northern Mexican border sounds like a good idea—in theory. The flaw lies in its actual execution—factor in its large cost and long construction time, and it’s obvious that the country needs alternatives in solving our illegal immigration and border issues. Why should Americans pay for something that might not work when they could be putting that same money to a better cause?

Fixing the pipe system to bring safe drinking water to the residents of Flint, Michigan would cost $55 million. Permanently addressing homelessness would cost $20 billion annually. Restoring US territory Puerto Rico’s destroyed power system after Hurricane Maria and giving electricity to 1.5 million people would only cost $5 billion. It becomes a question of where the American values lie when we are willing to spend $67 billion on a wall when we could bring safe water to all of our citizens, solve internal homelessness, AND fix Puerto Rico’s power grid for less than that.

Ignoring the billions of dollars spent on construction, the wall itself may not even work. The concept of the wall was built on the idea that people just seem to run across the border. However, statistics have shown that majority of illegal immigrants stay in the United States by overstaying their visas, NOT by jumping the short fence that already exists. The wall fails to acknowledge the reality of the situation, how exactly these people are getting into the United States. Those who understand the incompetence of the wall argue that using updated drone technology to patrol the border better is much stronger. Opposers of the wall also argue that stricter legislation for visas, coupled with a path to citizenship for those already settled in the United States, would solve for problems that no wall could. And, frankly, I agree.

A wall would do nothing for the illegal immigrants already in the United States or stop a majority of illegal immigrants from entering the country, especially considering that most do not even use the border as their means of access. The wall will NOT do enough to “make up” for the amount of money we would spend on it and creates more problems than it solves.