Why President Trump’s Wall is a Bad Idea [Opinion]


(Illustration from Shutterstock)

By Justin Christensen

President Trump asked for $5.7 billion to fund a border wall along the southern border. President Trump wants the wall because he claims there is support for the wall, that the wall will keep out crime and that it will decrease terrorism. Support for a wall is at a record high, although it is still a small minority, 42 percent according to ABC polls. There is no threat on the southern border, according to the State Department’s global terrorism threats. The wall would cost much more than $5.7 billion for it to be effective according to The Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

In his tweets, President Trump claims that the wall is popular amongst the people. In reality, this issue is split among partisan lines. Quinnipiac University’s poll on this subject concluded that 87 percent of Republicans said the wall is effective protection for the southern border; however, 95 percent of Democrats said it is not effective protection. The same poll concluded that 54 percent of voters agree that there is a security crisis along the southern border. However, 63 percent of voters supported opening the government without funding for the wall. These polls directly contradict President Trump’s popularity claim. Most Americans don’t want a wall on the southern border.

White House Officials have claimed that the border wall would keep out crime, both from terrorists and illegal immigrants. Four different studies from different universities have shown that there is no correlation between undocumented immigration and the rates of crimes. Cato Institute’s study has shown that the rate of criminal conviction is 56 percent lower than native born American citizens. A wall will not solve the crime problem in America. Trump Administration officials have attempted to promote the wall by claiming that thousands of suspected terrorists have crossed the southern border. The State Department published its summary of global terrorism threats in September, citing there was no credible evidence of a terror threat on the southern border. Building the wall would not solve our terrorism problems.

During his presidential address on Jan. 8, Trump stated that “at the request of Democrats, it will be a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall.” Trump wants at least 1,000 miles of this barrier. The 670 miles of security fence already on the southern border costed $2.4 billion, and it is unclear whether or not Trump plans to replace this security fence. The Government Accountability Office determined that fencing costed up to $16 million per mile in the bare desert. The original $5.7 billion price has been refused by the Democrats, according to The New York Times. Maintenance would be another added cost on taxpayers every year. Monitoring the 1,000 miles of border wall would still add onto the total cost.

Building a wall would be massively expensive, it will not decrease the crime or terrorism issue in America and it isn’t popular with the American public. There is no use for a border wall on the Mexican border.