U.S. Customs and Border Protection [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Reasons For The Wall Debunked

A wall can hold back many things but it can not hold back reason and logic. In this case, reason and logic cause the wall to collapse.

Many reasons have been used to justify the wall from tax payer expenses, drugs, crime (MS13), human trafficking and terrorism.

I will go through each one of these and explain why they are bs:

Costs:

Costs to tax payers is often quoted as a reason to justify the wall. Looking at the total costs, it would seem like a no-brainer, right? Wrong. These numbers do not consider the following:

  1. Most of the people who are here and undocumented arrived here by overstaying VISA’s. Other came in through other ports of entry by ship, car, or truck. To identify the cost to the tax payer, you would have to subtract out the costs of all these people out to identify how much could be saved by the wall.
  2. These people are often working and paying taxes. Taxes that they will not be able to benefit from later. Additionally, they are paying sales taxes on their purchases. The list goes on but the numbers need to include the taxes paid by them as well.
  3. While this part is more subjective, we, tax payers and citizens, save a lot of money from their low wages — working in fields, etc. This would be more difficult to quantify but it is a benefit provides.

All of this is going to make that number shrink a lot. That no brainer? Not so fast.

If we really wanted to deal with this (and not have it be a racist appeal), Trump would be working on a less inflammatory but more effective way to deal with ALL people here without papers/documentation — regardless of the country of origin.

DRUGS:

So then people say “what about drugs?”. Well, those go through the ports and guess what? That will not be affected by the wall. I don’t have the source right now but an official on TV was saying how only 1 in 4 suspicious shipments could be stopped with the resources we have now. (Our intelligence, as far as drugs is good, but the ability to intercept is limited.) So if drugs was the real issue, the focus would be on the ports.

MS13:

Then people say what about gangs and criminals. Well, let’s take a look at the infamous MS13. They are no more or less dangerous than other gangs. In fact, there is reporting that they could be less (although they have engaged in horrific crimes). Additionally, it seems as though they largely recruit kids when they get here. So here is the deal. They are no more or less feared or dangerous than other gangs. In some cases, they are decidedly less which may still make them dangerous but a small part of a much bigger problem — gangs in general. I live in Los Angeles, if MS13 were to disappear tomorrow, the streets where would not be more safe. There would be no difference. (In fact, gang territory criss-crosses all through this city. MS13 is not so different from the others that people don’t say “don’t go there because MS13”. They are just one of many gangs.) If you want to keep cities safe (and address the MS13 “problem”), you need to invest in inner cities and solve the gang problem.

As far as crime in general, it has been shown that immigrants are more law abiding than citizens here.

Human Trafficking:

And now human trafficking, again, there is no substantial evidence that the southern border allows for more human trafficking than any other ways. Americans are abducted and trafficked in the US, people are no doubt trafficked through Canada and ports of entry (air ports). Years ago our neighbors were helping a Saudi national who had a house here. Turns out they had a servant (slave) who was trafficked. I did not know about trafficking at the time but in hindsight it was trafficking. (They paid her a couple dollars a week for 24/7 work and pulled her passport so she could not do anything. She came here by airline.) Trafficking is a huge issue that takes many forms. If the concern is trafficking, it too needs to be dealt with it in a different way to be effective. If there was a permanent wall at the border tomorrow, the human trafficking situation would not change significantly — or even noticeably and that is the key.

Terrorism:

The number of immigrants on the terrorist watch list caught coming through the southern border is low. (And the terrorism watch list tends to cast a wide net — these are not people who are known terrorists.) More people were caught at the Canadian border. And most, by far the overwhelming majority, are stopped at foreign airports before they boarded a plane. In the end, a wall along the southern border will do little here. We face a much greater treat from domestic terrorists and radicalization. The energy and effort would be better spent addressing these issues and not the wall.

Shutdown:

Based on the above, the shutdown is probably the worst things that Trump could do. It is jeopardizing the ports of entry (drugs, people and human trafficking) and airports (terrorists and human trafficking).

Conclusion:

As more facts come in, it is clear that the wall is probably the least effective way to do any of the things it claims to. That said it will also take money that could be spent better elsewhere to address actual issue. There are specific problems and solutions are needed but this does none of that. Even worse, it will give some people the feeling that something is being done to affect these things when it is not. When things don’t change, they will feel even more disconnected and lied to (when the situation was clearly not going to change as a result of a wall).

People have also argued (I have not vetted it completely) that a wall can increase undocumented workers because people will cross the border illegally and work and, while they would normally go back across the border when the season is over, with a wall, they are less likely too so they stay.

One thing that I learned when getting my math degree is that how you look at the problem affects your ability to solve it. If you come at a problem the wrong way, you will never solve it regardless of how hard you try. You have to look at the factors and for a solution which best aligns the factors. In this case the wall is a total fail — unless your real and only factor is that you want a sign to keep the “brown man” out.

We need to be better than this and we need to demand better solutions from our government.

And the shutdown, ironically, jeopardizes the people who are most responsible for protecting the US from many of the threats above.

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