Following many months of planning and preparation, the government is starting to construct prototypes of Trump’s promised border wall in San Diego, CA. Spending $21.6 billion-plus for a wall designed to block immigrants on foot when they can still proceed to dig tunnels is ludicrous. With the growing number of immigrants in our country, there should be an easier path to naturalization and acceptance, for not all immigrants possess malicious intentions for our country.
Along with the $21.6 billion cost of construction, there will be an additional cost for necessary repairs. We, as a society, should not have to pay extra money to maintain a wall, in addition to what we pay already for border security. According to the American Immigration Council, the federal government has spent an estimated $263 billion on immigration enforcement since the overhaul of the U.S. immigration system in 1986.
Vanda Felbab-Brown. a senior fellow of the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings wrote: “Altogether, between 1990 and 2016, 224 tunnels have been unearthed at the U.S.–Mexico border.”
Why should America pay for a wall that will do nothing but give immigrants a little more of a challenge to proceed into our country, a wall that could easily be very successful at stopping all immigrants from entering America, but affects our national image and the way we respond to rigorous situations. Leaders of America need to demonstrate that we are capable of creating solutions when placed in tough positions without going to extreme measures such as building walls.
When we consistently demonstrate hate by calling other countries names and forcefully trying to remove them instead of paving a way to success, makes America seem selfish.
There are a variety of concerns that money for a border wall can resolve such as the decrease in homelessness Americans. Annie Lowrey, a reporter for The Washington Post wrote: “Mark Johnston, the acting assistant housing secretary for community planning and development, estimated that homelessness could be effectively eradicated in the United States at an annual cost of about $20 billion.”
The bulk of immigrants choose to come to the United States because of gruesome conditions that they have faced in their home countries, Mexico is one of the most treacherous countries in the world.
“People say immigrants are bad and Donald Trump says that they are racist. That’s wrong because some of these people are just everyday hardworking citizens that live here in America now, and to call them rapists, now that’s wrong,” said Tekeste Tekeste, a junior at Da Vinci Communications and an immigrant from Eritrea. “If I wanted to be a doctor and I didn’t have schools in my country, of course, I would come to America to seek the opportunity and I feel like they should let me.”
Robert Allen, the 12th-grade Government teacher at DVC gave his opinion on the motives that immigrants have to come to America. “Immigrants are coming here for opportunity, immigrants are coming here for economic security both to live here and to send remittances back home, there are a lot of different reasons.”
Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, was an immigrant himself, and his contribution to America with the aid of Larry Page has brought our society Google with his exemplary knowledge of computer science, and he is now an internet entrepreneur.
Brin and his parents came from Russia in 1979 at six years old to escape antisemitism, and his father Michael Brin became a mathematics professor at the University of Maryland, and his mom Eugenia Brin a research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
Regina Flores, the ninth grade English teacher at DVC shared her own experience coming from Nicaragua to America. “I moved here from Nicaragua in the early 80s and my family left because there was a communist revolution taking place.”
This shows that in a few cases people are compelled to leave their homes because if they don’t their lives can be negatively impacted or ended because they decided to stay. Most immigrants have no other choice so why not give them a chance they are not all threatening.
“The communist revolution basically threatened the middle class because they took everything from the lower class so we left because we were middle class. So, our sort of lifestyle was threatened,” Flores added.
Not all immigrants are bad, and a border wall could potentially decrease immigrant crossing numbers to an all-time low but considering the fact that we already pay 263 billion dollars on security, there are more economically safer ways to decrease immigration and still give current dreamers here an opportunity to succeed. And no matter what happens we should hold judgment before immigrants.