In what comes as another headline capturing move, the U.S. president has been trying to lay the cornerstone for the U.S-Mexico border. The situation in the States has been a very precarious one in the recent past and in the present, with the Federal shutdown of the government between December 22, 2018 and January 25, 2019 and the national emergency declared by Trump on the 21st of February. DoJMA presents to you a gist of the happenings about the Wall that has divided the opinions of the Americans.
The situation in brief:
Since a long time, the Mexicans have been moving both legally and illegally across the U.S.- Mexico border. The U.S. government had to stop the influx of illegal immigrants. Many restrictions were imposed but immigrants kept trickling in. Politicians kept promising more stringent restrictions. Donald Trump came and promised that one big wide wall, would solve it all. This vision of his was one of his major campaigning points, back in 2016.
Trump got elected and didn’t do much in 2017-18.
And now in present time, he has finally woken up to a quest to uphold this promise. But his solution to the problem has run into widespread opposition.
Why the opposition?
There’s nothing wrong with the intention. Any illegal immigration MUST be stopped except in cases where refugees flee to escape violent persecution in their own country. We won’t go there though. That refugee problem runs into humanitarian and ethical grounds where things become way too complex, way too fast.
Mexicans on the other hand cross the border primarily for economic well-being and better opportunities. And if they choose to do so illegally they must be stopped.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to prevent illegal immigration, but the way Trump plans to solve this problem is quite unacceptable, simply because of the way the finances work out. Building this concrete wall over a length of 1609 kilometres will cost around $5.6 billion. Although Trump promised to derive profits out of the construction by erecting solar panels on the wall (its feasibility being another bone of contention), maintenance of the wall along the rough terrain such as the mountains and deserts skirting along the border would add be a financial burden on taxpayers. Obviously, Mr. Trump’s vision of ‘making the Mexicans pay for the wall’ met with disappointment when the Mexican government refused to fund the construction of the wall. However, Trump justified his popular campaigning statement by saying that he did not imply that the ‘Mexicans will write a check for the structure’.
This implies that a lot of money, which could be used for more important things, will be diverted to building the wall. Besides, the structure will encroach upon the flora and fauna in its vicinity as several experts have claimed.
There must and can be a more economically viable solution. The $5.6 bn wall could yet be trespassed by tunneling, climbing over, etc and it is an impotent solution to the problem. Building a wall isn’t necessary if border patrol is intensified and barbed electrical fencing is maintained and built. Nobody wants to allow illegal immigrants in their country but at what cost does the security come? Is that level of security necessary or can it be done cheaper? These are the questions the U.S. govt has to address.
What’s going on right now?
Trump is being sued by 16 US states led by California over his decision to declare an emergency to raise funds for the border wall.
Donald Trump made the declaration on Friday to bypass Congress after it refused to approve $5.7bn for the wall. This announcement came after he signed a spending bill to avoid another government shutdown that granted him only $1.375bn for new border barriers.
Should Trump back down or should he try to build an economically practical version of this wall?
What do you think?