Editorial

Dividing the nations

The real cost of the wall

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Jan. 25 directing the Department of Homeland and Security to start building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

We The Threefold Advocate are against this order, for a few reasons.

First, the wall meant to expand across the southern border will cost the United States unfeasible amounts of money. According to Trump, the wall will cost around $10 billion. In an interview with the New York Times, Todd Sternfeld, chief executive of Superior Concrete, explained that the resources alone, apart from the manpower, would be extremely expensive, far exceeding the budget suggested by Trump.

The country is currently in trillions of dollars of debt, with over $60,000 per U.S. citizen, and many people are opposed to tax increases.  According to NBC, “Over the past 24 years, the amount of money spent on border security has increased 14 times; the number of border patrol agents have increased 500 percent; the amount of border wall has grown from 77 miles to 700 miles since 2000; and the number of people being apprehended trying to cross the border have decreased by four-fifths.”

Constructing the wall will not be good for the American economy. So, who will pay for this project?

The United States has already spent about $2.4 billion on fencing approximately 670 miles along the border, and, according to the Government Accountability Office, physical barriers are only partially responsible for illegal immigration surveillance and enforcement.

Trump explained that Mexico will eventually reimburse the U.S., yet he has not shown a plan or agreement between the countries. Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, televised a speech where he criticized the project and promised that Mexico would never pay for a wall. Peña Nieto said, “Mexico does not believe in walls…It goes against our dignity as a country and our dignity as Mexicans.”

Sean Spicer, White House press Secretary, announced that one of the solutions would be a 20 percent tariff on all Mexican goods. The New York Times interviewed an economist who explained that tariffs aren’t paid by the exporter. A tariff on Mexican goods would be a tax on U.S. consumers, therefore the U.S. would end up paying for the wall.

Another reason why we disagree with the construction of such a wall is because of environmental issues. A 50-year-old treaty between Mexico and the United States prevents any construction that obstructs or diverts the flow of the waterways. This wall could interfere with the water flow, and if it did, it would obstruct water flow from both sides of the border.

The Washington Post explained that most Texas land is privately owned because of Texas’ terms for entering the Union. President Trump will most likely have to seize private land in order to actually build this wall. There is a strong possibility that many people who live along the border will oppose the seizure of the land.

We The Threefold do not support the construction of Trump’s wall. The wall will not only affect the U.S. economically and environmentally, but also socially. This wall will not be a symbol of protection, but of division of two countries who strongly depend on each other.