We are among Americans who question whether a wall along our southern border would really solve the immigration problem we have.
Walls and fencing cover about one-third of the 1,954-mile-long border. Most were built while George W. Bush was president.
The $5 billion requested would fund construction of about 234 miles.
According to the AP, in 2017, the Government Accountability Office said the U.S. didn’t have a good way to measure how well fencing worked to deter illegal crossers. The government spent $2.3 billion from 2007 to 2015 to extend fences to 654 miles and more to repair them.
A wall built in the Yuma sector in the mid-2000s saw a decrease in border apprehensions by 90 percent, and arrests dropped after the wall in San Diego was completed in the 1990s.
There are other issues that would not be solved by a wall. One is trying to figure out what to do with the migrants who crossed illegally. There are fewer border crossers who have been apprehended since 2000 — they are from Mexico and Central America. It takes time to send them back to their countries and many apply for asylum in the U.S. Processing their claims also takes time.
For a long time, Border Protection and Customs officers have said their stations are not equipped to handle the growing number of children and families. Many have medical problems.
Then there are people who overstay their visas. It is estimated that about 40 percent of people in this country illegally came with visas that later expired.
Walls and fences have been partly successful in keeping migrants out of the U.S. President Trump said we face a security crisis along the border. Illegal migrants have committed criminal acts.
More miles of walls and fences will be successful in keeping some people out of the U.S. But the cost is high. Is it the right thing to do?
Neither party has been successful in solving the immigration problem. President Trump inherited the problem. Looks like the next president will be saddled with the same problem.