“Walls work and walls save lives,” said President Donald J. Trump.
Walls—we see them all around us, literally. They are used to separate two entities from each other. Be it the walls in our dorms, which sometimes we wish were thicker, or those hypothetical walls that some people create in their minds to protect themselves from getting hurt. Some more “modern” walls are made of clear glass, which could end up being very fragile and offer no privacy.
Regardless of the material they are built from, they all have one thing in common—their purpose. Bottom line: walls are made for dividing, isolating, and segregating.
In 2015, billionaire Donald J. Trump began his campaign for the presidency, claiming he would “Make America Great Again.” This automatically lead to the conclusion that he believes America is not already great, claiming that he would build a wall on the Mexican border to prevent immigrants from illegally entering the country. His whole focus and gimmick during this period was building “The Wall.”
He claimed that this mega construction would be paid for by the Mexican government and went so far as to assert that it was definitely going to be built. The topic of the wall and the immigration issue in the United States was once again discussed at his 2019 State of the Union Address, where he dedicated approximately 15 minutes to this issue.
Instead of appealing to a divided nation by spreading love, joy, or compassion, he appealed to the worst traits of human nature—hatred and animosity.
Aren’t we taught in school that the purpose of history is to learn from the mistakes our ancestors made in the past and not repeat them? Did we not learn anything from the Berlin Wall? Didn’t Albert Einstein say the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? Didn’t we praise President Ronald Reagan when he demanded that Mikhail Gorbachev, leader of the Soviet Union, “Tear down this wall!”?
Dear President Trump, as smart and interesting as I may find you, let me tell you something: a wall will not solve the immigration problem. As long as the countries these people are coming from continue to have high levels of violence, low GDP, deplorable living conditions, little to no job opportunities, and gargantuan numbers of people in poverty, the people will keep coming. It is human nature to survive. Darwin said it best: “survival of the fittest.” Something in their hearts and brains motivates immigrants to look for better opportunities and to provide for their families. A wall cannot stop this drive.
Instead of wasting $25 billion on building a wall, which will only protect one entrance to the United States, try allocating that money to aid majority countries, those same countries where the immigrants are coming from.
Subsidize U.S. companies to work with Latin American companies, which will provide more jobs and contribute to a more stable economy. People are not leaving their countries because they want to, but because they have to in order to have a better lives.
The idea that a wall on the southern border will solve the United States’ immigration issue is not only erroneous but also foolish. When someone’s back is against a wall, they have no choice but to push forward, and to look for new ways to cross over.