The Great Wall of America is made up of a metal structure that is 2000 miles long. It is a physical barrier between Mexico and the United States of America. In the 1990s, the number of immigrants crossing the border to the USA was very high. The situation led to the formulation of a control act. A lawful permanent residence of 2.7 million people was established.
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The people were to be granted legal American citizenship. However, this did not help since the families of the new legal citizens wanted to join their loved ones. As such, they continued to make efforts to cross from Mexico to the US. Given that these family members were not recognized by the law, they had to find alternative routes to get to America.
The only option was to cross the border illegally. To solve this problem, the United States government built the wall to control the number of people entering the country without legal documentation. According to Gilman, “In the name of immigration control and national security, the U.S. began a massive project in 2006 to build physical barriers along segments of the border between the U.S. and Mexico” (p. 258). The aim was to control the movement of immigrants.
The Great Wall may have partially achieved the objectives envisaged by the administration. However, individuals who are opposed to the program feel that there are better ways of controlling illegal traffic than the erection of a physical barrier. The current paper highlights some of the reasons why the Great Wall was a bad idea.
The American Great Wall was a Bad Idea
The government realized that the control act mentioned above did not give the expected results. The number of illegal immigrants was on the rise in spite of the legislation legalizing some of them. The government had to do something else, and someone came up with the idea of a Great Wall (Rodriguez par. 5). Perhaps, the technocrat who came up with the notion was inspired by the Great Wall of China.
A lot of funds were used to construct the barrier. In addition, the government incurred extra costs in recruiting and training security personnel to guard it (Karaim 750). It is a waste of time and resources to build and guard this panel round the clock. The funds used to do this could have been utilized on other beneficial projects. In addition, there are alternative ways of improving security along the border without incurring these expenses.
For example, instead of the wall, the authorities should have opted for CCTV cameras, which are cheaper to install and maintain than a wall and a platoon of guards. Companies and individuals selling these security accessories will benefit from government contracts. In return, they will pay taxes, improving the economy of the country in the process.
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It is important to note that building the barrier did not eliminate the problem of illegal immigrants completely. On the contrary, it forced these people to find alternative routes to get to the United States (Macor par. 4). According to Macor, “(the wall) has just forced the migrants to walk miles into the open desert to get around (it), resulting in thousands of deaths” (par. 3).
The immigrants are treated the same way as drug traffickers and other criminals. The government should realize that these individuals are not terrorists or thieves. As such, they should not be treated by erecting a wall between Mexico and the US. The wall did not address the root cause of the immigration problem (Macor par. 3). The problems that pushed people to cross border before the fence was built still persist.
Proponents of the wall may argue that the problems in Mexico do not concern the Americans. However, these people should realize that the Mexican issues affect them directly or indirectly. One of the ways they impact on American life is through the increasing number of illegal immigrants (Rodriguez par. 4). As such, the government should come up with alternative ways of dealing with the immigration problem. For example, instead of erecting the wall, the authorities should come up with a policy to scrutinize people wishing to get to America. Valid reasons like seeking for employment should be accepted.
In addition, the government should embrace these immigrants and use them to improve the economy. Individuals in support of the Great Wall may hold that employing these people in America will be a threat to the unemployed youth in the country. However, the proponents should note that in most cases, the foreigners take up menial jobs that many Americans are not willing to engage in.
The wall threatens the culture of native communities living along the border. For example, members of the Tohono O’odhan community were against the construction. The wall cut across their land. They were not consulted before the construction. The Great Wall is a violation of their human rights. In addition, the migratory routes of jaguar and other animals are affected by the fence (Karaim 759). The animals are unable to roam freely across the border.
The government may have had good intentions when erecting the American Great Wall. However, the structure appears to have more harm than good to the people and the environment. For example, the movements of the immigrants are controlled like those of wild animals. In addition, in spite of the costs incurred in the construction, the immigration problem persists. The money and other resources used on the wall should have been directed to other beneficial programs, such as securing the country from the threat of terrorists. The government should consider taking down the wall.
Gilman, Denise. “Seeking Breaches in the Wall: An International Human Rights Law Challenge to the Texas-Mexico Border Wall.” Texas International Law Journal 46.257 (2011): 257-293. Print.
Karaim, Reed. “America’s Border Fence: Will it Stem the Flow of Illegal Immigrants?.” CQ Researcher 18.32 (2008): 745-768. Print.
Macor, Leila. US-Mexico Border Wall Forces Risky Detours For Those Trying To Cross. 2013.
Rodriguez, Richard. The ‘Great Wall of America’ and the Threat from Within. 2010.