On March 13th of this year, President Trump travelled to California to view eight potential samples for the ‘border wall’ which he promised his supporters during his 2016 Presidential Campaign. The controversial building of the wall had become a talking point, with claims that Mexico would pay for it, which Mexican President Pena Nieto continues to furiously deny. The wall should “only” cost $18 billion dollars, via Trump’s Twitter, and would be paid for through an extension of a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Removing the flagrant social rights violation that this wall imposes and personal biases against the President, the Wall could make sense, right? The United States spends close close to $750 billion dollars each year on defense, and border protection counts as defense.
According to a New York Times article, the Senate Democrats released a report in April of 2017 claiming that the wall would cost an estimated $70 billion, and would cost close to $150 million dollars to maintain each year. The wall will employ an electronically monitored zone between its two sides with armed guards patrolling. Obviously, roads would be protected heavily with gates used for inspection. Theoretically, though the cost is daunting, illegal immigration from South and Latin America would be stopped. However, the wall can easily be circumvented by criminals and immigrants alike. Major cartels can simply pay a border agent to look the other way while they construct a tunnel under the wall. The integrity of these border agents can be bought, blatantly defeating the purpose of the wall. Seeing as the wall would only be 150 feet wide, these tunnels can be done quite effectively. Thousands of criminals can smuggle their drugs and weapons through to the United States while refugees and immigrants would be trapped in their respective countries.
How can the United States then prevent illegal immigration? Recently, increased economic stability in Mexico has decreased the number of illegal immigrants. By investing in Mexican corporations and micro financing small business, the United States can improve the economy there while also making money abroad. With a stronger national economy, Mexico and other Latin American countries will be able to retain potential immigrants who can seek opportunities at their homes. In terms of that $70 billion dollars, the United States can do some good with that money. According to the Borgen project, this money can absolve all world hunger for the next 2.5 years. By investing in Latin America and curing their hunger crisis, the United States can prevent illegal immigration and create strong fiscal ties with a burgeoning superpower.