North Texas Daily

Building a wall will never work

Building a wall will never work

Building a wall will never work
January 31
10:08 2017

Gabriela Macias | Staff Writer

The first week of President Trump’s administration was eventful to say the least. It was marked by executive orders and crumbling relationships.

But one event that stood out was the signing of an executive order on Jan. 25, that would start “effective immediately” on the process of building a wall along the southern border of the United States and strengthen the process of deporting unauthorized immigrants.

While there is a lot of uncertainty as to the actual meaning of the executive order and how it will be carried out, one thing was clear: the intention by Trump to keep his campaign promise of building a wall.

This plan has sparked tensions from both sides of the border. Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, was scheduled to visit the District of Columbia on Jan, 31. But he canceled his trip after a confrontation emerged with President Trump in the past week over who will actually pay for it.

As stated by President Peña Nieto, “Mexico will not pay for a wall.” Peña Nieto was already under heavy pressure from the Mexican public and political elite to postpone his trip to the U.S.

In response, President Trump tweeted this:

This was the straw that broke the camel, or as we say in Mexico, “La gota que derramó el vaso.”  

This pushed President Peña Nieto to cancel his visit, leaving a sea of uncertainty for Mexico and its relationship with the U.S., specifically with the Trump administration.

Over the course of one week, we’ve seen a relationship marked by mutual respect between two neighboring countries fracture. This leaves many families and people with deep roots in both sides of the border with continuous anxiety as to what it means for their futures.

Although the wall may seem like a brand new idea, it isn’t.

In fact, Bush proposed such a wall during his presidency — the Secure Fence Act of 2006. And after five years and $1 billion, the project was canceled.

So if this isn’t a new project and if it was proven to be defective, why are we trying it again? Why are we repeating old faulty plans that cost taxpayers billions of dollars?

There had to be something else, this idea that with a wall, Republicans could achieve something they’ve been hollering about for years: protection for their jobs.

However, this project screams division and undermines years of cooperation between the two countries, even if people refuse to see it. It also declares a shift in position the United States used to have for the rest of the world, one of openness and inclusion.

This wall is not only an expensive project, but it solidifies the poisonous rhetoric used over the course of Trump’s campaign. It signals a protectionism strategy that his administration has always had. But we cannot force a foreign country to pay up, and if the American government acts carelessly, they will jeopardize a once cordial partnership between nations.

This is not only an issue of national security, it’s a human issue. One that will have real consequences for people living here and abroad. This executive order highlights the xenophobia propelled by the Trump campaign, an idea that the U.S. wants a barrier from the rest of the continent.

We need to reconsider the consequences it can have, and the real reasons for building a physical border. It’s not really to protect Americans. It’s simply another gargantuan monument President Trump can put his name on.

Featured Image: The U.S. border fence near El Paso, Texas, originally uploaded on Aug. 12, 2007. Wikimedia Commons

About Author

Preston Mitchell

Preston Mitchell

Preston served as the Opinion Editor of the North Texas Daily from July 2016 to July 2017, and is a UNT graduate of integrative studies.

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1 Comment

  1. Jimbo
    Jimbo February 04, 23:55

    We are one team!

    Reply to this comment

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