As he went on the campaign trail in hopes of winning the presidential election, Donald Trump consistently spoke about one thing: a wall. Millions around the country agreed with Trump’s grand idea for a wall between the United States and Mexico, and as a result of that, the idea of an actual wall is getting more real by the day.
We don’t need a wall.
Sorry, not sorry. That’s my personal opinion, and nothing will change that. Not only from an immigration standpoint, but also from an economic standpoint, a wall on the border will ultimately end up doing more harm than good.
In my Latinx culture class, the concept of immigration has been very prevalent. We’ve discussed the different arguments for and against immigration, and naturally, the wall came up in that class as well. Many of the time, the arguments for a wall align with people’s core beliefs about immigrants being bad for the United States.
Something that always struck me as ironic though, is that the majority of U.S. citizens who are “native” to this country and die-hard Americans are descendants from the European colonizers who, back in the fifteenth century, were the immigrants who came and took land from the natives. The colonizers were the immigrants. This whole country was founded on the concept of immigration. Something too that people tend to forget is that those who are against immigration tend to forget how Americans very commonly immigrate to other parts of the world, but there seem to be no issues with that. People who immigrate from lighter-skin countries tend to not face as much backlash for immigrating to the United States. Many of the issues that people have with immigration are completely racially-targeted.
Another thing I learned in my Latinx course is that when slavery was legal in the United States, the American dream for everyone wasn’t to go to the United States and start a family and career; rather, it was to flee to Mexico, where slavery wasn’t legal. There, instead of turning escaped slaves away, the Mexican government kept the escaped slaves and granted them independence and protection from their former slave masters. They treated them like humans, which is something that most people today don’t do for Mexican immigrants.
So not only are there countless reasons to not be against immigration, but also the general idea of the wall is economically impractical. A report from the Senate Democrats reported that the wall would cost “nearly $70 billion to build and $150 million a year to maintain.” An internal report from the Department of Homeland security said the wall could cost “about $21.6 billion, not including maintenance.” That is a ridiculous amount of money to be spending on something that isn’t really necessary. Regardless of if there’s a wall or not, immigration will still happen. This isn’t the magic solution to fix everything that’s wrong, and claiming that it is would be, in my opinion, false. Focusing all our efforts and money on building a wall shouldn’t be the priority of the U.S. government when there are so many other issues that need to be fixed.
We don’t need a wall, and that is something I’m sure of.