What would be accomplished by building a wall at our border with Mexico?
Do we really think that the people who are risking their lives to escape the dangerous environment they live in will just give up? If they are willing to risk their lives in pursuit of a better life, why wouldn’t they try the other 17,908 miles of our borders that would not have a wall?
Has anyone considered the fact that the United States has a total of 19,860 miles of borders? The border between the U.S. and Mexico is only 1,952 miles, or about 9.8 percent of our total borders. Understand that just under 700 miles is already fenced. The remaining 1,300 miles are the most difficult terrain to fence. Based on government cost estimates for the proposed U.S./Mexico wall ($16 million to $24 million per mile), it would cost $20.4 billion to $31.2 billion.
What’s next, a wall on our 5,525-mile border with Canada? A similar U.S./Canada wall could cost north of $88 billion to $132 billion. Are we ready for that?
In 1981, the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy was formed to study the then-current Immigration and Naturalization Policy. This committee submitted a recommendation that, I think, is relevant today: “We recommend closing the back door to undocumented, illegal migration, opening the front door a little more to accommodate legal migration in the interest of this country, defining our immigration goals clearly and providing a structure to implement them effectively, and setting forth procedures which will lead to fair and efficient adjudication and administration of U.S. immigration laws.
“Key to this recommendation is the […] fair and efficient adjudication and administration of U.S. immigration laws [...] .”
Maybe we should look at our immigration and naturalization laws? The last major revision was in 1990.