Better Alternatives to Trump’s Wall Exist

While a wall may secure the border, there are alternatives that may be better for the country as a whole.

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While a wall may secure the border, there are alternatives that may be better for the country as a whole.

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One of the main goals for President Donald Trump’s term in office is to build a wall along the border of Mexico. People have been wondering if the wall is the most effective method for keeping illegal immigrants out of the United States. I believe that the wall would be a more effective way to control the border, but I do not think it is the best solution.

Once Trump was elected, people wondered when the wall would be built, and it has begun after 2 years into his presidency. He has planned to do so since his presidential campaign of 2016, and is hoped to be complete by the end of his Presidency in November of 2020. He believes this wall would help keep people from crossing the border into America, hoping to solve some of America’s issues with illegal Mexican Immigration. Trump’s proposed wall will be a large and expensive structure to complete in less than two years time.

The dimensions of this wall are suggested to be 30 feet tall, and 2,000 miles across the border. According to The New York Times, the estimated cost of this wall is anywhere from 8-70 billion dollars, averaging 150-750 million dollars a year in maintenance. Trump has said that he will make Mexico pay for the wall, but the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has already refused to do so. Trump currently has prototypes being built and tested to find the most effective and cost effective design to erect along the border, but until finalizations are made, many American people are creating new suggestions for alternatives to the border wall.

One alternative to building the wall would be to hire more people to defend the border. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of Dec. 2018, approximately 6.2 million people were unemployed in the United States, and 520,000 of those people lived in Mexico’s largest bordering state, Texas.  The U.S. government could hire some of those unemployed workers in Texas to help step up the border patrol.

The people guarding the border could either be at a set place at all times, or on a constant patrol, depending on the amount of workers. This alternative not only would replace the need for a border wall, but it would greatly improve the United State’s unemployment rate.

Some people have gone to the extreme in order to shut down the wall idea, including writing an entire book. Ronald Rael’s, Borderwall as Architecture, is one of those that is in opposition to Trump’s wall. Every idea in Rael’s book was made not to drive the two countries apart, but to bring people together at a unifying place, the border. This book has a plethora of alternatives for the wall, most being good alternatives to Trump’s proposal.

Some ideas Rael included provide ways for the wall to do more than just divide, they are also helping, such as a solar panel wall, that would create power, or a water treatment wall, that would purify water for places such as Mexicali and Calexico. This would be beneficial to these two cities, and would also serve as a barrier of sorts on the border, but would also have gaps between solar panels and water treatment plants, making the border even more breachable. I believe that this could be a better alternative to the wall, if there was extra security, and/or a small wall.

One of Rael’s ideas to bring people together was to make the wall with areas where people could sit and cook food on both sides, and exchanging it with the other side. This is a very interesting idea that does more than just separate. This is a good idea in theory, but unfortunately a lot of people are dangerous and wouldn’t hesitate to cause havoc at the border. In short, a 2,000 mile Mexican/American restaurant would not be feasible.

Another alternative to Trump’s wall is one that includes means of transport. Michael Swickard, who has been a columnist for various New Mexico newspapers, a published author, and has a Ph.D, has suggested a freeway be built instead of a wall. The proposed freeway would be raised 15 feet, it would be 6 lanes, and it would have an easement for railways, pipelines, power lines, and cell phone towers. Swickard says that this would be useful for transport, and would also serve as a wall. This freeway would essentially be a large border wall, with a freeway on top of it; it would be much more difficult to cross over the top because of the cars. He describes this as a win-win solution, and I agree with him. Yes, the freeway would be costly, but so is the wall, and this serves more of a purpose than just blocking the border.  

The current wall at the border, is a sorry sight at the moment, and Trump’s wall would be more effective than the easily crossible border we have now, but it is not the best solution. There are many different ways to secure the border without having to further increase the national debt, and some serve more of a purpose than to simply divide. Alternatives may not only divide the borders of the two countries, but a better solution may not be as divisive as Trump’s proposed wall.