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The Great Wall of…America?

Sydney Carper

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On March 16th, 2017, President Trump released his budget plan for the coming fiscal year. This includes increasing defense spending by 10%, or $54 billion, much of which would go towards a wall on the United States’ border with Mexico.

 

Trump and his supporters are under the impression that such a wall will stop illegal immigrants from entering the country and “bringing crime” among other things.

 

This ideology is simply illogical as a significant portion (about 40%) of immigrants travel here by plane and only about half of illegal immigrants come from Mexico (http://immigration.procon.org).

 

Senior Tim Verby is in favor of the wall and explains he supports, “Anything that will help keep our country safe.”

 

It has been proven that illegal immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native born citizens (www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org).  Crime rates have dropped despite the increased number of illegal immigrants and immigrants make up only 8% of the prison population. (www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org) They are no more a threat to public safety than native born citizens.

 

Senior Seamus Cassidy is opposed to the wall stating, “[It] would not significantly improve the illegal immigration situation”. Cassidy pointed out that  “even more simply [illegal immigrants] overstay their visas”. It is obvious that a wall will not stop people from doing this.

 

Verby stated, “Illegal immigration at its core is a threat to rule of law on which our country depends.”  Although, it is worth noting that approximately 40% of illegal immigrants in the U.S. are on expired visas, which shows many did take the proper legal course to get into the country at some point (www.politifact.com).

The billions needed for this wall has to come from somewhere, so the increase in defense spending is at the cost of many other necessary programs. Cassidy believes that the money for the wall could be better spent elsewhere, “I personally suggest education or infrastructure.”

 

However, Verby doesn’t believe the programs cut are necessary. “In tough budgetary times, the nation has to make difficult choices and national security has to be at the forefront of spending”.

Both seniors agree that this country was founded on immigration; although, Cassidy thinks our country “will continue to thrive on it”. He wishes our nation would go through “comprehensive immigration reform to make this country more welcoming to disenfranchised groups.”

 

This seems like a far better alternative than deportation and a wall. Such acts are misguided attempts, based on stereotypes and prejudice, to protect our country and need not be enacted.

 

https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/criminalization-immigration-united-states?utm_content=buffercf974&utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer

 

http://immigration.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000845

 

http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2015/jul/29/marco-rubio/rubio-says-40-percent-illegal-immigrants-are-overs/

 

http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2015/sep/08/jorge-ramos/ramos-40-undocumented-immigrants-come-air/

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The Great Wall of…America?