Why do people spend hard-earned money to buy locks for their doors? Why do they put fences around their houses? To keep evil-minded thieves from entering? Yes in part, but not as the leading motive. They construct physical barriers mainly because those people love their families and want to keep them safe. President Donald Trump said it best when he told the nation that he wants to build a wall “not because [he] hates the people outside, but because [he] loves the people inside” (qtd. in Fox2Now STL 1).
Walls work. A physical wall provides the best way to protect someone or something. The United States needs to utilize this idea and protect its citizens from the threat of potentially dangerous foreigners crossing its southern border. Opposers of the wall argue that a wall discriminates against less fortunate people who only want an opportunity in a new country; but this point proves invalid because those people can apply for legal immigration to enter America the right way. The United States does not need to eliminate immigration altogether, merely eradicate illegal immigration and control who goes in and who goes out. A wall on the southern border would be the best way for the United States to protect the lives of its citizens and ensure the overall well-being of the country, while saving billions of dollars at the same time. A wall will prevent immigrants from coming in illegally.
These immigrants can come in legally to the United States if they truly want to be part of America. The wall would not be built to keep people out; it would be built to control who comes in and out. As a country, the United States has the right to know who is within the borders. The border will will allow America to keep tabs on all visitors and immigrants. A common misconception is that there are more illegal immigrants from overstayed visas than from crossing the border illegally. This is just not true. The Center for Migration Studies released a report that found only 42 percent of all illegal immigrants to have remained in the country after their visas ran out (qtd. in NBC News 2). This means that nearly 60 percent, the large majority, have come across the borders illegally.
The United States would solve most of the illegal immigration problem if they prevent all illegal border crossings to begin with. Liberals argue that if these illegal immigrants are forced to apply legally, they will never see the United States. However, in 2015, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security reported that over 15 percent of all legal immigrants came from Mexico, more than twice the number coming from any other country (US Department of Homeland Security 5). The border wall will eliminate criminals from coming over illegally, but it will still allow many kind-hearted and hard-working Mexicans to move to the United States as legal citizens. The crime rates of illegal immigrants is extremely high–much higher than the rates of American-born citizens and even legal immigrants. Not only are illegal immigrants responsible for a larger number of crimes, they also are guilty of committing more severe offenses. In the state of Texas, illegal immigrants were responsible for roughly “…10 percent of all apprehended killers…” which is approximately “7.3 percent of the Texas population” (Latzer 2). That 10 percent of murder would not have happened if there was a wall to keep out the illegal immigrants. The United States must be able to screen the immigrants before they enter the country, not after they have committed a crime.
At that point, it is too late. We need a wall on the forefront to protect our country from potential criminals. Illegal drugs are also smuggled across the southern border at alarming rates. From 2009-2014, the amount of heroin confiscated at the border increased by three times according to the El Paso Intelligence Center and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The same source also recorded an uptick in the amount of Meth found at the border, nearly four times as much in 2014 than in 2009 (qtd. in Washington Post 1). A border wall would not only make it near impossible for illegal immigrants to pass through, it would cause much more trouble those who are carrying illegal drugs. Scaling or breaching the wall is difficult, even without carrying the extra weight of illegal drugs. Traffickers would be forced to enter through the gates in the wall or attempt to cross natural barriers where they would surely be found by the border patrol agents. Drugs are one of the leading causes of death in the United States, and Americans need to shut out all illegal drugs from coming in. A wall would immediately help limit the number of illegal drugs brought in to the United States. Another benefit of a wall would be the prevention of human trafficking along the southwestern border.
There has been evidence that walls have efficiently lowered the rates of human trafficking. In cities near the border like “El Paso, illegal traffic dropped 72 percent in one year…” which leads to less arrests and ultimately less human trafficking (White House 2). If a wall was built in more places, it would save thousands more people from human trafficking, including the sex trade. A wall is absolutely necessary to extinguish any chance at humans being trafficked into America. A wall will actually save the American people money. A new FAIR study on illegal immigration concluded that American taxpayers are responsible for 116 billion dollars in costs from illegal immigration, even after subtracting the money paid by illegal immigrants in taxes (FAIRUS 3). No matter which estimate one looks at for the wall, it will still be less than the amount Americans are already paying for illegal immigrants. An internal report completed by the US Department of Homeland Security approximated the price of the barrier to be 21.6 billion dollars, which is obviously far less than the cost of allowing illegal immigrants to continue crossing into the country (Ainsley).
A physical barrier will also not cost very much at all when considering the entire United States budget. The federal government is ready to spend about 4.5 trillion dollars this year according to the Bureau of Fiscal Service, while President Trump is asking for only five billion dollars to be diverted to the cost of building the wall (Jeffrey). Clearly, five billion dollars does not sound like so much money anymore. When compared to all of the spending done by the government, five billion dollars is a microscopic portion, almost unnoticeable, some say even a rounding error. The percentage of money the wall will take from the national budget is merely 0.11 percent of the national funds for the year (Jeffrey). Not even a full one percent will be spent on the wall!
Democrats know that the wall does not cost very much, so they exaggerate the numbers to make it sound less appealing to American citizens. The border wall is not a significant financial burden for the country, in fact, it hardly dents the county’s supply of funds at all and would be an excellent use of so little money. Border walls work. It has been proven that a strong physical barrier is more than sufficient to keep people out. Both Democrats and Republicans agree that illegal immigration is not good for the country and that new measures must be taken to ensure that the problem is fixed, yet they resist agreement and collaboration. Americans should start taking notes from other countries around the world to discover the most effective way to prevent illegal immigration. Hungary is a country that quickly and efficiently reduced illegal crossings almost to absolute zero. How did they do that? They built a border wall, then “in 2017, only 1,418 border crossings occurred, marking a 99.6 percent decrease from the 2015 peak” ( Hungarian government via S4C News). The wall America needs does not resemble the feeble fencing currently in place. No, the United States needs a massive wall, a big, tall, concrete, wall that will make border crossings much harder for those who attempt to cross illegally.
The Democratic Party wrongly assumes that the wall will be built over the entire 2,000 mile border, this is a ludicrous idea and all wall-supporters understand this. Contrary to what most liberals want Americans to believe, President Trump does not want to build a wall along the entire border. He told his supporters at a rally in South Carolina that “…we only need 1,000 miles, because you have a lot of natural barriers, right, that are extremely tough to get across” (President Trump via Washington Examiner). The wall on the southern border promises to be much smaller than what many Americans falsely believe, yet just as effective.
Left-leaning Americans argue that the illegal immigrants simply would find a way around the wall, under the wall, or over the wall–even through it. Republican representative Dan Crenshaw says “They’ll go around it. Exactly–that’s the point” (Crenshaw). He goes on to argue that the prevention of border crossings along most of the border would force persistent illegal immigrants to funnel into areas closely patrolled by border control agents. In other words, the wall allows the border control agents to patrol a much smaller plot of land. Additionally, Crenshaw refutes the idea of immigrants going over or under the wall claiming that even highly trained Navy Seals would have a rough go at breaching the wall.
A wall of the caliber President Trump has described to the nation renders itself to be nearly unbeatable by any potential migrant. To put it simply, walls work. The idea of a wall is concerning to some because they deem it to be a violation of human rights. In fact, a wall is not a violation of human rights, nor is it immoral to put one up. Even former President Obama, a strong opposer of Trump’s wall, has not just one wall alone, but has placed several different security measures around his house (Johnson). If walls are contrary to moral values, then why should the very people speaking out on the issue be allowed to contradict themselves?
Walls built to protect a certain people are not immoral, rather they are a solution to a problem and very effective. If the United States is morally required to let people in across the southern border at will, then every citizen in the country should be morally forced to allow anybody into their house at any time. See the problem? A wall is not meant to keep everybody out, merely it is designed to control who goes in and who goes out. Arnold Cusmariu brings up a good point stating, “The moral status of an action quite often is a function of, or makes the most sense in the context of, the purpose for which it is done” (Cusmariu). The border wall will be built to protect the law-abiding citizens in the United States, putting it in the category of ‘morally acceptable’. Not all illegal immigrants are bad, but enough of them are dangerous that the United States needs to limit who is coming into their country.
Also, it is not fair to the countless other immigrants who apply legally and go through an entire process to get to America if some people can bypass the system. The U.S. brings in a multitude of legal immigrants from Mexico, so why should they allow everyone to come in illegally? A physical barrier is an effective tool of self-defense, a device used to protect. The wall would be massive, but it would not be the only object used to secure the border, merely the starting point. Building a wall on the southern border would essentially be the best single way for the United States to protect its citizens from the potentially harmful illegal immigrants while still allowing legal immigration to occur.
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