What Happened When A Trump Supporter Challenged Me About the Wall
Vicky Alvear Shecter
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I’m glad to respond. I certainly do not accept that your reasons are facts- they are not. Most are opinions.

Contrary to the leftists’ mantra “Walls don’t work”, walls do indeed work, according to the people who are actually monitoring the border- customs and border patrol agents.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAzsmxYTyg0

and

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/senators-to-question-trumps-border-security-chief-about-immigration-policies/2018/12/10/732a2b40-fcba-11e8-862a-b6a6f3ce8199_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.e750a82e00eb

And the argument that supporting a wall means for the entire length of the US-Mexico border is a straw man argument. Most supporters know there are plenty of locales where building a wall would be untenable due to extremely difficult terrain. But such locales are also less likely to be places where huge numbers of migrants would seek to enter. But having large portions of wall in locales which are geographically/environmentally amenable to construction would: 1. make it much more difficult for trespassers to enter and easier for CBP to stop illegal entry; and 2. allow moving more CBP and other assets from the protected areas to the aforementioned more geographically difficult areas.

Much of the border is geographically similar to the desert Israeli-Egyptian border, where a wall has been enormously successful in preventing undocumented entries. ( http://hir.harvard.edu/article/?a=14542) To be certain, this reference suggests that a US wall alone would not work as well as they do in Israel, Egypt or 60 other countries without additional changes addressing temporary work visas, among other things.

As for objections by land-owners along the border, there are many who would love to have a wall to prevent migrants from crossing their land, particularly criminals and traffickers. Those opposed to a wall might change their opinion as more migrants try to enter through their unprotected land, accompanied by increased border patrol agents, migrant arrests, and possible violence.

Any claims by so-called “experts” or partisan pundits/politicians that “walls don’t work” is disingenuous and contrary to the claims by those who actually guard the border as so aptly illustrated in my links above. It’s no secret that politicians are frequently either ignorant of the facts or choose to ignore them to support their agenda.

And it is indisputable that a robust wall would be exceedingly more difficult for leftist politicians to remove than simply increasing CBP agents, electronic surveillance or even a fence, all of which could be removed virtually overnight. IMO this is why so many leftists and globalists claim to support border security by those temporary, easily eliminated methods. Just as democrats single-handedly decided to release all detained illegals to prevent their children from being separated, with the absurd claim that they would all show up for their court appearances, dems could quickly weaken or eliminate these temporary security methods.

As for cost, comparing the $5.7 billion demanded by Trump (which would lead to ending the “shutdown) to the cost of millions of illegals reveals that it would be fiscally irresponsible not to build the wall and otherwise increase border security. Obviously it’s quite difficult to accurately calculate the cost of illegals, but the GAO estimates the cost (of what they claim is only 10–12 million illegals currently in the US, although others estimate it to be more than 20 million) to be a low of $2 billion to $19 billion annually. Other groups have calculated as much as $116 billion annually. If the number of illegals is actually 20 million, then those figures would double. Of course the ongoing savings from the wall would be based upon how effective it would be in reducing illegal crossings, which, as the experts who actually work in some areas where there is currently a wall and some areas where there isn’t, state emphatically that it would be extremely effective and a vital adjunct to other methods. Of course new areas of wall would not impact the costs of illegals who are currently residing here. But it would more than likely prevent future millions from adding to the enormous cost.

The first link below calculates that lifetime costs are nearly $70 billion per million illegals or $35 billion per 500,000 or $17.5 billion per 250,000 or $8.7 billion per 125,000. Thus the wall (even if it eventually cost $20 billion or more) would certainly pay for itself over time. And that doesn’t include any cost savings from requiring fewer CBP agents and other temporary measures. It also doesn’t include any cost savings from our ability to negotiate better with Mexico regarding immigration and trade. At worst, the wall cost is a wash. But sincere analysis indicates a significant cost savings in the long run.

https://cis.org/Camarota/Enforcing-Immigration-Law-Cost-Effective

https://www.gao.gov/products/hehs-95-133

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/fact-check-how-much-does-illegal-immigration-cost-america-not-n950981

Stating that CBP agents do not like walls because they prevent them from seeing on the other side is fallacious, since the current plan would have a wall composed of alternating steel pilings and slits. In areas amenable to tunneling, the pilings could easily be inserted many, many feet down into the land to make tunneling quite difficult. Electronic surveillance techniques could provide methods of detection of both tunneling and attempts to climb over the wall, immediately alerting CBP agents. A wall which significantly impedes and slows entry would better enable agents to respond effectively.

Certainly we need to facilitate the temporary entrance of those seeking work, which should also decrease illegal entries. Providing for an orderly, registered entry with work permits might also improve working conditions and wages for these mostly lower wage migrant workers as illegals are often taken advantage of as they fear any complaint may result in their arrest and deportation. US farmers do need large numbers of laborers, but this can be addressed with legal migrants. It may raise prices that Americans pay for fruits and vegetables and other goods and services, but that seems much more equitable and humanitarian. Higher wages for legal migrants would also keep wages higher for many lower wage Americans, particularly unskilled African-Americans, who are often shut out of menial jobs which pay less than needed to meet the US cost of living. (See: The Impact of Illegal Immigration on the Wages and Employment Opportunities of Black Workers- US Commission on Civil Rights, 2008, p.7 file:///C:/Users/jwjwj/AppData/Local/Temp/IllegImmig_10–14–10_430pm.pdf )

Additionally, it is somewhat callous to support the entry and exit of seasonal workers across difficult and even dangerous terrain, sometimes accompanied by criminals, including rapists and child traffickers. It would be much safer and preferable to have official sites of entry/exit monitored and patrolled by CBP agents for legal seasonal workers.

Finally, using a comparison of a US-Mexico wall to an East-West Germany wall is a disingenuous apples and oranges comparison. That wall was to keep people from escaping, frequently by the use of deadly force. The US wall is there to protect the US citizenry from citizens of other countries who try to illegally enter. Yes, this is a goal of national sovereignty, now considered a 4 letter word by many on the left. But there are negative consequences to the US citizenry who have spent years or decades building a life under the rule of law of this country and should be granted the rights that come with this effort. That doesn’t mean that we should not try to extend the same prosperity to persons from other countries. But to maintain a stable prosperity in the US which we can share with others, we need to have the ability to choose the number and character of immigrants. We should take some who are desperately poor, but we can not practically take all such people without going bankrupt. Combining open borders leading to unlimited immigration with a welfare state will certainly lead to insolvency. Instead we should seek to help other countries to emulate our form of government as a democratic republic with property rights, equal justice and the rule of law. People seem to forget that some of the richest people in the world are Mexicans. Perhaps they should be sharing more with their own citizens rather than expecting middle class taxpayers in the US to do so.

Venezuela has some of the largest oil supplies in the world, which should have allowed their entire population to enjoy a relatively high standard of living for many decades, eventuating in self-reliant capitalist nation. Instead, their socialist leaders squandered that opportunity and now their citizens are literally starving.

And, by the way, hundreds and perhaps thousands of East Germans did manage to cross the Berlin wall for freedom. But it’s likely there were millions who would have done so had there been no wall. So walls do work. Those which force people to stay are sinister. Those that prevent others entering illegally provide safety and maintain a society which observes the rule of law, which ultimately benefits all members of that society.