Trump’s wall will not work. As James Hedges (the presidential candidate for the Prohibition Party in 2016) said, “Hadrian’s Wall did not protect England. The Maginot Line did not protect France. Trump’s Wall will not protect America, either, but building it will capture people’s attention while important parts of America slip away or are destroyed. The best day of our lives will be the day before inauguration day.”
James Hedges is right, of course. Donald Trump’s wall has always been about one thing: to distract the average American citizen from realizing the reasons as to why they’re falling through the cracks.
These reasons include people like Donald Trump – millionaires and billionaires – having far more influence over the United States government than the average people who make up most of the population.
However, many people in this country have been fooled into believing that immigrants from Mexico are stealing American jobs. This is simply not the case, and Donald Trump knows it well. President Trump continues to fuel this delusion that a wall will fix working-class American’s fears, and ease their anxieties while he fails to address real problems in this country. If this wall actually becomes a reality in the United States, it will have disastrous effects.
Rey Koslowski, an expert on border control and homeland security, and a political science professor at the State University of New York at Albany, says that the wall “would have unintended consequences.”
“As the border becomes increasingly difficult to get over, routes become more dangerous, and if people have money, they will pay even more for someone to get them to the other side,” Koslowski continues.
One consequence includes high numbers of immigrants dying at the United States-Mexico border, mostly from the heat. In 2013, the University of Arizona published a report showing that with an increase in border security also came an increase in immigrant deaths.
Many non-profit organizations, such as the Border Network for Human Rights, are calling this a massive human rights violation on the part of the United States. Jamie Rappaport Clark, CEO of the Defenders of Wildlife conservation group, has also brought up worries that Trump’s wall would have negative effects on the surrounding environment and wildlife.
The wall would likely prevent many animals from travelling to reach food and water, and would make breeding difficult for several important species, and vulnerable ones, such as Jaguars and Mexican gray wolves.
If the effects on endangered wildlife and human lives aren’t enough to sway you, perhaps the exorbitant costs will.
Senate leader Mitch McConnell estimated recently that the border wall would cost around 12 to 15 billion dollars, a staggering amount. However, Forbes recently published an article stating that, after crunching the numbers, the real cost could be closer to 22 billion dollars, and that’s a conservative estimate.
This would all be paid for by the taxpayers, of course, as Mexico has outright refused to foot the bill themselves on multiple occasions, despite Trump’s countless and empty promises saying otherwise.
The ramifications of these costs would be terrible. In an America where the richest among us are the ones that pay the least in taxes, the burden from this wall will certainly fall most heavily on the poor and ever-dwindling middle class.
With the minimum wage being so low, and with people bringing home less and less money from work every pay period, this burden will be devastating. The poor and middle class Americans, who already get the short end of the stick, will see even more of their paychecks gutted.
This, naturally, will be bad for the economy as these people’s spending power and disposable income will be reduced, putting even less money into the economy than they were able to before.
Some of you might be asking, “Well, what if Trump doesn’t get the money from raising taxes?” Good question. The money has to come from somewhere, and if it doesn’t come from taxes, it will certainly come from spending cuts in other areas.
Trump and the Republican Party officials will not cut funding from the bloated military budget, so the money will likely come from the GOP’s favorite targets: social programs, the EPA, the Department of Education, and Social Security.
These programs, in comparison to other parts of the national budget, take up a very small portion of what the United States spends its money on so, in order to get a significant amount of money from the slashing of these social program expenditures, they will have to gut them almost completely.
The effects this will have on the poor and disenfranchised in this country will be felt from border to border, as more and more unrest is sown throughout the nation due to a desperate poverty stricken population growing only more desperate and poorer.
Rioting will ensue, and large protests will become all the more commonplace. In this way, Trump’s wall will also result in the violent power of law enforcement increasing, leading to likely increases in civilian deaths and population control.
The reality of Donald Trump’s wall goes beyond the prices of avocados and tequila. It will have massive reverberating effects throughout the United States, taking it years to recover, even if Trump is not reelected in 2020.
What Donald Trump needs to do is abandon this dream of a wall solving the country’s problems and, instead, focus on really taking on corruption and fighting for the average American. It seems unlikely, however, that he will ever be willing to do this.