What About Trump’s Wall?
Donald Trump as the new president, during his first week in office signed an Executive Order supposedly putting into motion the building of his famous “wall” on the US Mexican border. Earlier this week he boasted again that he was going to build his “wall” and he was “not kidding.”
Aside from the fact that it is practically impossible to build a continuous wall along the entire terrain of the US border with Mexico, it is going to do little if anything to stop the flow of illegal drugs and/or immigrants into the US. Walls can be scaled, broken and tunneled under. There are already walls and/or fences in all the major population centers on the US-Mexican border and most of the drugs and people are getting in through tunnels and/or air or via the some more remote, inhospitable terrain on the border. The bottom line is that simplistic solutions like walls will never stop the massive economic forces powering the drug and human trafficking trade.
Forty-plus years into the “war on drugs” and illegal drugs and US consumer usage are just as prevalent, if not more, than ever. This is not to mention the great loss of life and massive expenditure of taxpayer resources to achieve essentially nothing other than transforming the United States into the largest prison population in the world. Approximately $1 trillion has been spent in the war on drugs since 1970. (See: http://www.drugpolicy.org/resource/federal-drug-control-budget). Moreover, in 1980 United States 50,000 people were incarcerated for drug violations, but now that number is over half a million. (See: http://www.drugpolicy.org/wasted-tax-dollars). There are no positive demonstrable results from the “war on drugs.”
The same failed reasoning is applicable to President Trump’s proposed wall. As stated above, there are many completely inhospitable areas along the US-Mexico border where is practically impossible to actually build the structure we are speaking about–much less actually getting construction materials and machines there to build a wall on the side of a mountain, in a canyon or a cliff, on a sand dune, across rivers and streams, so on and so forth. The enormous economic engines of the United States population’s drug habit and need for cheap, reliable labor combined with the unbelievable profits made by the cartels for drug and human trafficking, are forces far too great to be stopped by a wall or a “war.” There are much more intelligent ways of dealing with these complex problems.
Despite the fact that there is negative immigration from Mexico over the past few years (More Mexicans Leaving Than Coming to the U.S.) and record deportations under the Obama administration, there is still a great need for skilled and unskilled labor in the US workforce. With the US workforce aging and baby boomers retiring, there simply are not enough new workers being born in the United States to fill necessary jobs. The simple solution to the undocumented employment problem is to create a sane, intelligent guest worker program which will allow needed workers to temporarily come to the United States to fill positions with employers who need such workers for a temporary time. If this were implemented, the “illegal immigration” problem on the southern border would all but be eliminated. We would know who the workers are, collect taxes from their employers and totally eliminate the human trafficking business of the cartels, because the people in need of work for the employers who need them would be able to get visas to come to the US instead of being smuggled by organized criminal organizations. This would be a “win” on multiple levels.
There needs to be intelligent immigration reform to address these issues because wasting money on an impossible wall that will never be completed is simply robbing the US taxpayer of their dollars which could be spent on greater and important causes, such as education, renewable energy and necessary infrastructure. Now is the time for America to be smart.