The Build It Fast
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According to The White House Fact Sheets, this past year, the number of families arrested for crossing the border illegally jump to over 40% higher than any year previous (“Confronting the Urgent”). Since January of 2018, Customs and Border Patrol has apprehended over 17,000 criminals attempting to enter the United States without documentation (“Confronting the Urgent”). They have also taken over 1,000 gang members into custody (“Confronting the Urgent”). Evidently, we can not continue to put off changing the current situation at the southern border any longer. Action is imperative. Despite the endless bickering of politicians and plethora of views about immigration, one idea seems to surface in every debate regarding possible solutions to the issue at hand – a wall. Recently, President Trump has pushed for this option to become reality. Though much controversy yet surrounds the notion, the time has come to build a wall between the United States and Mexico.
Due to the many controversial effects of building a wall, almost every American group or party maintains its own opinion about the effectiveness and morality of such a project. The Democratic party represents one example of this division among our countrymen. Just this past January, Nancy Pelosi, speaker at the United States House of Representatives, declared on national television that the condition of the southern border represented a “humanitarian challenge,” and thus a wall would violate all codes of morality (Nancy Pelosi). Another view point originates from within the libertarian population, who, though rather divided themselves on the details, generally hold that all land should be owned privately. Under such circumstances, one could only consider immigrants “illegal” if they trespassed on one’s private property. Finally, the majority of conservatives and republicans assert that a wall is crucial to protect the safety of the American people (Trump). These represent simply a few of the many positions Americans have claimed in the debate over a wall.
Regardless of one’s political opinion, however, one must acknowledge that crimes such as human trafficking currently reign unhindered at our southern border — crimes a wall could vanquish. Fox News reported recently that traffickers annually cart between 14,000 and 17,500 over the line between America and Mexico. Why are these numbers so high? As former Homeland Security special agent Tim Ballard explains, the United States maintains the highest demand for porn in the world (DHS Special). In fact, sex trafficking is approximately a 150-billion-dollar industry (DHS Special). In his interview with a Fox News reporter, Ballard tells the heart-wrenching story of an eleven-year-old girl named Liliana, who was kidnapped from Guatemala and sent to the United States as cargo. He concluded this story with a line that could stop a heart; “the wall would have likely saved her” (DHS Special). The White House Fact Sheets corroborate this, saying that “without a wall, our southern border is wide open to human trafficking” (“President Donald”). All in all, one can clearly see that this horrific industry illuminates America’s great need to build a barrier between it and Mexico.
In addition to human trafficking, a wall could help rectify the drug dilemma in the southwestern states. In the year 2017, Immigration and Customs Enforcement confiscated so much fentanyl, they could have killed every person in the country (“Confronting the Urgent”). One can only imagine how much more remains undiscovered. As it stands now, no other place allows for more cocaine smuggling (“Confronting the Urgent”). Between 2012 and 2016, 157 percent more seizers occurred as results of Meth overdoses (“Confronting the Urgent”). These statistics pose a serious threat to public safety in the cities near the Mexican border. Indeed, a wall would stop many of these incidents and shrink drug abuse to a fraction of its current size. Additional evidence indicating the necessity of a wall rest in the border guards’ overwhelming support of the project.
In early 2018, the National Border Patrol Council surveyed over 600 active border agents (Dinan). According to their research, an overwhelming 89% support President Trump’s initiative (Dinan). Furthermore, only 7% were opposed to the idea (Dinan). Moreover, many of those interviewed said that a wall was not only important, but vital to securing the border (Dinan). If even the men and woman on the front lines of the battle against illegal immigration believe that America desperately needs a wall, it seems at best unwise and at worst negligent to discard their opinions and continue to leave our borders wide open and defenseless. In spite of border agents’ testimonies, opposers of the wall continually assert that walls consistently fail at their job (Nancy Pelosi). However, the facts simply do not concur. Recently, Hungary built its own walls in around select portions of its perimeter (Shaw). Within the last year, Hungarians have affirmed that, as a direct result of that project, illegal immigration has dwindled (Shaw).
Israel, also having recently constructed a barrier around their more vulnerable borders, concurs with the reports from Hungary, saying similar effects followed the erection of their wall (Shaw). Even within the United States in places where parts of a wall have already been constructed, massive change has occurred (“President Donald”). For example, since the erection of wall segments, San Diego, El Paso, Tucson, and Yuma have all experienced over 90 percent drops in human trafficking (“President Donald”). In light of these facts, one can not easily contend that walls exhibit no or little effect on illegal immigration and all that comes with it. On the whole, both trafficking and drugs, border agents and past success all point to a wall as a necessary measure to ensure the safety, not only of the American people, but also of the women and children making their way here. As Donald Trump eloquently stated in his “State of the Union Address,” “Tolerance for illegal immigration is not compassionate. It is actually very cruel.” While we wait, children get kidnapped, teens die of overdoses, and border agents risk their lives. The time has come to act. Build the wall. Build it fast.