Crisis at the Mexican Border Why Trump’s Wall is Failing
Illegal immigration is one of America’s leading issues as far as national security is concerned. It is talked about as one of the main campaign points of every presidential election and solutions are batted around the political arena like children playing hot potato. As one of Donald Trump’s major campaign promises prior to the 2016 elections, he promised to build a wall along America’s southern border to help discourage illegal immigrants and smugglers from Mexico from entering the country. Trump has done his best to follow through on that promise, but it has many not so unforeseen flaws.
Before Trump took office, a physical barrier lined roughly 654 miles of the nearly 2,000 mile long border. Since then, that number hasn’t changed. The Trump administration has replaced and rebuilt 60 miles of that wall at the cost of the American tax-payer, not Mexico, contradictory to his campaign promises. Illegal immigrants are still flooding into the country, and while the Department of Homeland Security says that the number of intruders are decreasing, they won’t give specific data to support their claim. The government has approved a $6.2 billion fund to extend another the wall 334 miles. While this will reduce the amount of illegal immigration even more, it will still not solve the problem.
Illegal immigrants and smugglers still have a relatively easy time getting into America. With the wall in place, intruders can buy power tools or ladders and either cut through the steel bars and make a gap big enough to squeeze through, or place a ladder up to the top with a rope ladder to drop down the other side. Whichever way they do it, the wall is not enough to keep illegal immigrants and smugglers out of the United States. Experts estimate over $2.3 billion of illegal drugs are smuggled into the US every year and while 90% of that comes through legal ports of entry, the other 10% comes over the border by foot or by boat.
This smuggling is leading to higher addiction rates than ever before, particularly in San Diego. Claire Felter of the Council on Foreign Relations states in an article regarding the American opioid epidemic, “The crisis has reached such a scale that, beyond the risks it poses to public health, it is becoming a drag on the economy and a threat to national security.” Something more has to be done, and a wall isn’t stopping it.
The United States spends an average of $4.7 billion per year on border patrol, but the problem isn’t getting any better. The wall only slows down people trying to enter the country, but as the saying goes, “show me a 17 foot wall, I’ll show you an 18 foot ladder.” A wall is not the answer because the truth is, if someone wants to get to the other side of a wall, they can find a way to do it.