President Donald Trump wants $18 billion to build more than 700 miles of a wall along our southwest border. The new wall would expand the 654 miles of a barrier now in place.
If erected, about half of our southwest border with Mexico would have a wall. The proposal, of course, was received with mixed reaction by members of Congress. Democrats for the most part oppose the wall extension. And, some Republicans also are opposed.
We have never been a fan of the wall because we don’t think it will be effective in stopping the flow of illegal immigrants from the south. They will find a way around the wall, or under it, or over it. Yes, it will stop some of the flow, but not all of it.
The cost is high and we have other needs that could use the money. When Trump ran for president, he made a major issue out of the wall. He wants to deliver on his promise to build a wall. The request comes at a time when negotiations are ongoing about the fate of young, undocumented immigrants and talks to avoid a government shutdown. The wall talk is adding to general disagreements already ablaze.
Few countries have ever been successful long term in being enclosed by a wall to keep people out for whatever reason. We realize times are different today, but building a wall sends the wrong message as to what this country is about, and its heritage of welcoming immigrants.
Immigration can get out of hand and controls are needed. The argument that immigrants take jobs away from Americans doesn’t hold water since Americans aren’t interested in those kinds of jobs. We have an acute labor shortage.
We need controls on immigration, enforcement of existing laws and adding to our border patrols instead of wasting money on a wall that won’t solve the problem.