President Donald Trump touted his desire to build a wall across the Mexican border even before the election, but it was originally treated as a national joke. Once he became president, the nation realized the joke was on them. “I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively,” Trump said, after announcing his candidacy on June 16, 2015. His plan has always been clear: to build a wall across the Mexican border to keep illegal immigrants out of our country.
But the question still stands, who is paying for this wall? Trump has always claimed “I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.” But as his presidency has progressed, he has backed away from that standpoint. Mexico is extremely unlikely to agree to pay for his wall, and the Mexican president has demonstrated no inclination to do so.
Trump has threatened to interrupt governmental functioning if necessary in order to fulfill his plan, claiming: “Now the obstructionist Democrats would like us not to do it. But believe me, if we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall.”
What is making our president go to such measures to make this wall a reality? Trump has stated his belief that: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they’re telling us what we’re getting.” These remarks are despite the fact that experts from organizations including the Cato Institute have found that immigrants are actually less likely to commit crimes than native-born citizens.
Trump, in his own way, is fighting for what he sees as a better country. As he always says, his ultimate goal is to “Make America great again”. But is his rough approach to the situation of border security the right one to make our country “great again”?
Lots of discussion has been going on about the right solution to this immigration problem. One SLV sophomore student says, “I’d probably have strong immigration laws, but not to the extent of Trump.” Is Trump going too far in his desperation to rid the nation of illegal immigrants?
This is not a new issue and has been a major complication for other Presidents in the past as well. On September 5, 2017, Obama wrote “Immigration can be a controversial topic. We all want safe, secure borders and a dynamic economy, and people of goodwill can have legitimate disagreements about how to fix our immigration system so that everybody plays by the rules. … What makes us American is not a question of what we look like, or where our names come from, or the way we pray. What makes us American is our fidelity to a set of ideals – that all of us are created equal; that all of us deserve the chance to make of our lives what we will; that all of us share an obligation to stand up, speak out, and secure our most cherished values for the next generation. That’s how America has traveled this far. That’s how, if we keep at it, we will ultimately reach that more perfect union.”
With time, the nation will decide whether or not Trump’s wall plan is the way towards a more perfect union.
By Katerina Riggan