Running up to the 2016 election campaign, building a wall was one of Donald Trump's key promises when he was campaigning to become president. He believed that there was an immigration crisis with a lot of mexican people crossing into the US from Mexico. And throughout his time, he has also expressed his strong anti-mexican views as ‘Drug dealers and criminals”.
It’s a startling fact that the Mexican immigration issue has divided America in the same way that Brexit has divided Britain. Lots of Americans are unhappy about illegal immigrations in the United States. They believe that Mexican immigrants are a drain on the economy and that migrant workers keep wages low which affects Americans. Nonetheless, this issue did gain Donald Trump many supporters and now, nearly 3 years into his presidency, he wants to deliver on that promise. And, perhaps it’s his way to convince voters to elect him in the next term election.
Currently, there is a total of 650 miles of barrier along the border which is 1,900 miles long. However, Donald Trump believes this is not enough to deter migrant families from crossing the border. So President Trump wants to expand it and build a 1,000 mile wall made out of steel to prevent people from crossing the US-Mexico border.
The problem is, building a wall of this size costs a lot of money.
How much would it cost to build a wall?
President Trump estimates that he would need $5.7 billion (£4.5bn) to build a steel barrier across the border.
However, the opposing party - the Democrats have disagreed with the cost of building the wall. So on December 22nd 2018, the dispute led the US government to a shutdown. This meant that 800,000 of staff working for the United States’s government did not get paid for 35 days. During the shutdown some workers, including thousands of those who work for the US tax office, were ordered to return to work unpaid and the situation made the American people very unhappy.
Since then no formal decision has been made. The US government cannot agree how much funding should be given, or whether funding should be given at all. This has meant that Trumps’s plan to expand his wall has partially closed until a solution can be found. However, he is not giving up on the wall, calling it ‘a state of emergency’. A state of emergency is usually declared in times of a national crisis but, in this case, Trump has claimed there is a migration crisis on the US-Mexican border. This is his way to try to secure funding for his wall. Currently, it is now estimated that 76,000 people try to smuggle themselves over the border every month and this number is the highest it has been for the last decade so this figure could strengthen his point. One in three migrant get caught and those that do are likely to continue trying to cross the border at least twice a year.
What Trump says: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qj3_xNU8-JA
“Some have suggested a barrier is amoral. Then, why do wealthy politicians build walls, fences and gates around their homes? They don't build walls because they hate the people on the outside but because they love the people on the inside.”
What the Democrats say:
“The fact is, President Trump has chosen to hold hostage critical services for the health, safety, and well-being of the American people and withhold the paychecks of 800,000 innocent workers across the nation, many of them veterans,” she continued. “He promised to keep government shut down for ‘months or years,’ no matter whom it hurts.”
“The women and children at the border are not a security threat, they are a humanitarian challenge”
Who disagrees with building the wall?
A majority of US citizens (60%) believe that the wall is a bad idea or that it shouldn't be a priority for the President (According to the Pew Research and from the Guardian).
The Democratic Party, who are in opposition to President Trump's Republican party, believe that building the wall is wrong. Even so, they are not advocating an open border policy. In fact the Democrats have backed plenty of legislations that restrict immigration. And, Obama himself had voted for a border barrier in 2006.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said that he rejects and condemns Trump's plan to build the wall along the U.S. Mexican border. Originally, Trump suggested that Mexico should pay for the wall, but Mexico is definitely not going to pay and it’s even strange to me that Trump would even suggest it, considering Mexico doesn’t want it.
Do you agree with Trump’s house/fence metaphor of protecting its own American people or is the border just a waste of billions of dollars of US taxpayers that could be spent elsewhere?
Bare in mind thousands of miles of border will require thousands of border patrol officers to man the wall itself which means it will cost even more. However the border will possibly be a significant deterrent to illegal immigration at the border just the fact that it exists would discourage many from making the attempt, but is it worth the cost or should America do more to accept the Mexican people instead? What do you think?