The United States has some rough history with our southern neighbor–Mexico. History shows how the U.S. essentially stole a massive portion of their to fulfill an idea of Manifest Destiny, and yet today, Americans are the ones who hold a grudge against Mexico.
Despite being reliable trading partners and political allies for decades, the American populace still looks down on the Mexican people. The main argument against the Mexican people is based around illegal immigration, but what if immigration issues aren’t actually Mexico’s fault?
The real source of the illegal immigration problem lies with our own militarization of the American Mexican border. Prior to all the border security, the immigration system between America and Mexico operated as a cyclical flow; Mexican citizens would come into the U.S. for job opportunities, work for a while, and then return home.
Once the government intensified the border security though, the flow stopped. People in Mexico had a significantly more difficult time getting into the United States, and what that meant was that the Mexican people who were already here just stayed. This nearly tripled the amount of illegal immigrants in the states.
So how does the wall play into this? Donald Trump’s scheme to construct a massive wall between the U.S. and Mexico is absolutely absurd. The wall would have to stretch over 2,000 miles of rough terrain and would cost billions to initially construct. Not to mention that the maintenance bill on this will be a cost we will all be paying for the rest of our lives. Not only is it incredibly expensive, it will not even come close to ending illegal immigration.
According to Politifact, over 40 percent of all illegal immigrants arrived in the United States by plane. These are all Mexican people who legally entered the U.S. and just overstayed their visa. So unless the wall is actually going to be a dome over the entire country that prevents air traffic, then the wall isn’t going to do much. The whole idea of increasing border security is misguided.
According to the U.S.’s own border patrol, illegal immigration through crossing the border is at an all-time low. According to Douglas Massey, the professor of international affairs at Princeton University, the Mexican economy is doing quite well now, and population growth has slowed significantly, so there’s not the pressure to emigrate that there once was.
The fact of the matter is that the wall is not going to solve illegal immigration from Mexico, and the entire American perception of the border strays from the facts. The only thing the wall is preventing is a legitimate conversion about actual solutions to the issue of illegal immigration.