To build or not to Build?
This paper examines both sides of the border wall debate. First, looking at what already exists along the Mexico-US border and then moving into the current debate brought to the light by President Trump. Also, it will look at what impact this will have on the US economy if no more illegal immigrants will be able to cross the border. The real question is will the wall have any impact on immigrants crossing the border.
According to Jason Riley (2009) there are an estimated ten to twelve million illegal immigrants living within the United States (p. 54). According to Cieslik, Felsen, and Kalaitzidis (2009), over half of these illegal immigrants are from Mexico (p. 185). These population estimates have led the United States to take action along our border. We have built a fence, deployed various surveillance systems, and currently employ thousands of U.S. Border Protection officers. These actions have made the issue of illegal immigration a highly debated topic within the United States and Mexico. This debate will be explained from a political, economic, and an integrated perspective.
Politics have severely impacted the issue of immigration along the U.S. and Mexico border. Within the United States, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has been extremely active regarding immigration along this border. Branton and Dunaway (2009) stated, “Governor Bill Richardson declared a state of emergency in four counties along the U.S.-Mexico border” (p. 289). Governor Richardson was concerned with, “Ravages of terror and human smuggling, drug smuggling, kidnapping, murder, the destruction of property, and the death of livestock” (Branton & Dunaway, 2009, p. 289). Influenced by Governor Richardson’s concern, Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano also declared a state of emergency, “As a desperate attempt to get the attention of the federal government” (Branton & Dunaway, 2009, p. 289). These are all valid concerns when public safety is a top priority of any elected government official.
Another political figure concerned with violence along the U.S.-Mexico border is Pat Buchanan. He stated, “Two-Hundred and sixteen military incursions were conducted by the Mexican army into California, Arizona, and Texas” (Buchanan, 2006, p. 117). According to an experienced border patrol agent named T.J. Bonner, “Intrusions by the Mexican military to protect drug loads happen all the time” (Buchanan, 2006, p.117). It is easy to see how U.S. Border Patrol agents and Mr. Buchanan can support the United States’ efforts in securing the U.S.-Mexico border. Not all of Mr. Buchanan’s views are based on histories of violence from Mexican illegal aliens.
As recent as the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, U.S. citizens have realized we are vulnerable to attacks within the United States. This realization is a valid concern because terrorists could also gain access through this border. The U.S. Border Patrol has a term called...