Haley Estep

From the very start of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign to this present day in time, Americans have been promised an answer to all of our illegal immigration issues, a “great” and “beautiful” wall. As talk of this “great” wall progressed, Americans have been split on how they feel about it, hence the nearly month-long government shutdown. While a wall may seem to be the answer to our obvious problems, such as illegal immigrants crossing the Rio Grande river to get to the land of the free, it is not the complete answer to the illegal immigration issues in America. Speaking as someone with traditional conservative values, I realize that I am not aligned with the views of the Republican Party on this controversial topic. President Trump’s wall is an empty promise to the American citizens; in fact, the “wall promise” has already been proven empty. 

Looking back at the transcript of Donald Trump’s presidential announcement speech, you can clearly read where he told the American people that he will build a “great, great wall,” inexpensively, and he will make Mexico pay for it. Not only is Trump asking for $5 billion, but President Trump has changed his story about who will be paying this extravagant amount of money and how. Flash forward to his more recent speeches, and you hear the president speak of the way he plans to have Mexico pay for it. 

After being asked by a reporter why he had lied about having Mexico pay for this wall, Trump corrected said reporter by saying that Mexico is indirectly paying for the wall. Trump claims that he will be getting the money equivalent to that needed for the wall from Mexico over time through a trade deal while the $5 billion needed in order to begin building the wall will be coming from the American taxpayers money. While it may be true that the money from this trade deal will add up to the amount we will be spending on this wall, it is not the same deal that he promised to us in the years prior. Trump should have been completely honest about how he planned to have Mexico pay for this wall from the beginning instead of promising us one thing and providing another. 

The bottom line is, Mexico has no intentions of paying for this wall, and neither should we. America does not have $5 billion to waste on a wall that will do us no good when we are currently swimming in national debt. We cannot afford it. Though $5 billion would not solve our national debt by any means, it is money that we could put towards paying off our national debt, or even better, our country’s education system. The point is, there are so many ways we should use the money we have, and building a wall is not one of them. Especially when there is no guarantee this wall will even work. 

One thing that many people overlook when thinking about the wall is that we already have a wall-like structure in place along the U.S.-Mexico border. While this wall may not be as extravagant or as large, it still serves the exact same purpose as the wall Trump would love to build. This border fence has been in place for many years, and yet we still have a large number of illegal immigrants in America.Why? The only answer I have is that there are people we allow into the United States who violate their visas. According to a report given by the Pew Research Center in Washington D.C., fourty-seven percent of illegal immigrants are people who have overstayed their visas. How is a border wall going to solve our illegal immigration issues if the majority of illegal immigrants aren’t crossing the border illegally? It won’t. 

Just like the Great Wall of China failed to keep the Chinese safe from the intrusion by the Mongols, Trump’s “great wall” will fail to keep illegal immigrants out of The United States. Whether you are against illegal immigrants being in your homeland, you welcome them with open arms or you are indifferent on the matter, you should be able to see that building a wall will not improve our illegal immigration status as drastically as it has been claimed. While having a larger border wall may prevent a few illegal immigrants, many will find a way to get here, legally or not. The “great wall” is not such a great idea.

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