The border wall is a bad idea

Ella Miller, Co-editor in chief

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There are a lot of walls in society.

Whether they are mental or physical, walls are everywhere. From tangible fences to psychological blockades, people are constantly attempting to keep others out.

Walls are exceedingly good at driving people apart and assisting in the unbridled festering of hatred and a false sense of supremacy. That’s not what this country should strive for.

America does not need another wall.

President Donald Trump has promised to build one of these walls along the nearly 2,000 mile expanse that is the U.S.-Mexico border. Not only would this be ineffective, but also extremely costly.

According to USA Today, Trump originally budgeted 5.7 billion dollars for this feat, but the Democrats in congress would not back this proposition. Not even 25 percent of the Republicans of the House and Senate combined approved of the plan.

So, naturally, the members of Congress laid a compromise before the president. If he was to build his wall, it would have to be within a 1.6 billion dollar budget. This did not satisfy him. Trump’s blatant refusal to accept the compromise lead to a serious problem. The government shut down, which became the longest shutdown in the history of the U.S.

According to CNBC, hundreds of thousands of federal workers were not getting paid because their jobs had been put on hold. Those are hundreds of thousands of families who were not getting the money they require to support themselves, all because the president refused to realize that he is doing more harm than good.

There are a few reasons why one might argue that the wall should be built. The border does need some type of security.

However, the drawbacks simply outweigh the benefits. A wall just wouldn’t be that effective. Physical barriers do essentially nothing against determined people in the long run.

Drug smuggling is a perfect example of something that a wall cannot solve. According to the New York Times, the drug lord “El Chapo” admitted a key component within his network. Usually, he used certain “legal checkpoints” to get the drugs across the border, contrary to the belief that they were physically smuggled across actual sections where a wall would be.

There are many things that could be used instead of a wall, anyway, such as creating more secure entryways, so that it would be easier to oversee the border. Another direct alternative would be to take those billions of dollars required for a wall and put them towards hiring and training more actual personnel to maintain order.

Also, that money could easily go towards entirely different issues that need it more, such as the obvious lack of school funding. Besides, there are other ways to address the situation without building a uselessly imposing wall.

Work on issues such as raising minimum wage and improving healthcare. Focus on building new infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, which are things that the U.S. actually needs.

How about working with areas south of the border to make their living conditions better? Rather than constantly turning away and attempting to block immigrants, just help them out. America is a great country. Shouldn’t it be able to help those in need? Besides, assisting the countries south of the border to fix their problems would lower the desperation immigrants feel to come to the United States.

Create policies that invite immigrants to be more open instead of forcing them to hide. The U.S. could easily find ways for immigrants to contribute in a way that can help this country. As a matter of fact, many already do.

According to the Washington Post, most immigrants pay even more in taxes than the everyday American. Not only that, but they have to go to much more effort. The majority of the time, immigrants have to calculate exactly how much of what they earn must be paid as tax, then send a check directly to the government.

Remember that 5.7 billion dollars it would take to build the wall? How about using it to assist places like Mexico and Central America? If those areas are better, there is less reason for immigration in the first place. It would also mean increased trade with the United States, in addition to bringing more tourists here. If people south of the border are faring better, it could help the U.S. economy, too.

Remember the old saying: “Show me a 12-foot wall, and I’ll show you a 13-foot ladder.”

The answer lies in helping people, not in turning them away.

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