Why should we oppose the border wall?
There are nine members of Congress (one Republican, eight Democrats) who represent border districts…all of them oppose the wall.
The wall would harm the environment:
The wall would be a symbol of hatred and intolerance:
- Washington Post: Trump’s wall is a monument to vanity and bigotry
- Los Angeles Times: Trump’s border wall prototypes will one day remind us of how intolerant we were
Walls and fences are generally not effective:
- NBC News: Test of steel prototype for border wall showed it could be sawed through
- Migration Policy Center: Borders and Walls: Do Barriers Deter Unauthorized Migration?
The wall may not even be a policy Trump genuinely supports. It started out as a mnemonic device:
The border wall will cost billions
Here’s what the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, wrote:
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently sent a letter to Congress where it argued that $5.7 billion would pay for approximately 234 miles of a new physical steel barrier along the border. That new estimate comes to about $24.4 million per mile. This new OMB estimate is 41 percent more costly than the approximately $17.3 million per mile construction costs that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimated just a few years ago, 2.7 times as expensive as Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan estimated, and 5 times as expensive as Trump’s lowest estimate.
Much of this money is being taken away from military projects
In December 2018, Donald Trump shut down the government because Congress refused to give him the money needed to build the border wall. Following the failure of this strategy, Trump declared a national emergency, which allowed him to take millions of dollars from existing military projects to build his wall. Here’s a summary of some of the military projects that are being defunded:
Read more about the national emergency and the defunding of military projects here.
Meanwhile, the wall will not solve any root causes of migration
The U.S. has reduced foreign aid to central American countries every year of the Trump Administration, even though these countries need help addressing the kind of situations that lead to migration. From NPR:
Where they [the Trump Administration] have put their focus is on the border and the enforcement on the border. So while we spend less than a billion dollars in Central America to change the things on the ground there, we spend over $20 billion enforcing the border and dealing with the Central Americans when they show up there.
Read a more complete explainer from Vox.
America’s Voice: Why the Border Wall is a Terrible Idea
John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight”: