Don’t Build the Wall

President Trump addresses the nation in an Oval Office speech on January 8, 2019.

President Trump addresses the nation in an Oval Office speech on January 8, 2019.

Isabella Rocha, Contributor

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President Trump addresses the nation in an Oval Office speech on January 8, 2019.

One of the main components of President Trump’s 2016 election campaign was the building of the wall at the Mexico border. He promised to build a wall to keep illegal immigrants out of the country and promised that Mexico would be the one to pay for a wall. To get supporters, he convinced people that the immigrants coming here are terrorists and that they are smuggling drugs into this country. As of December 22nd, the government has been partially shut down because President Trump is asking for $5.7 billion dollars to help build the wall, a request the Democrats are unwilling to give into. Tuesday evening, January 8th Trump interrupted prime time television to give an Oval Office Address on the wall, which was followed by a response from Democratic leaders Speaker Pelosi and Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

In his speech, Trump repeated the reasons to build a wall that he has used before. He claims that the “southern border is a pipeline” for illegal drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamines. He went on to say that the number of Americans killed by drugs this year will be greater than those killed in the Vietnam war. Despite President Trump’s claims, a wall will not prevent these illegal drugs from being brought into this country. These drugs come into the country through legal points of entry, and most are confiscated there. The number of hard drugs smuggled into this country in the areas of the border where the wall would be have been decreasing in the past years while increasing at legal ports of entry. The wall President Trump wishes to build will not affect the number of drugs coming into this country if they are coming in through legal points of entry. Furthermore, drugs are not always brought into the country through the southern border. Some are smuggled in through vehicles and are hidden in secret compartments, gas tanks, and engines, and some are smuggled in through cargo trains. Drugs are brought in through this country by boat as well. Speedboats are used to smuggle drugs in California to avoid going through the border. Even with a wall, drugs will still be smuggled in through boats and vehicles.

President Trump stated that illegal immigrants in America have been charged with “100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 violent killings.” In February of 2018, the Cato Institute found that immigrants are 25% less likely to be convicted of homicide than natural born Americans, 11.5% less likely to be convicted of sexual assault, and 79% less likely to be convicted of larceny. A study done by Criminology found that the number of violent crimes decreases when there are more illegal immigrants in a community. Former White House chief of staff, John Kelly said in an interview with NPR that most people “that move illegally into the United States are not bad people.” He claims that not all of them are gang members or felons.

Most people are immigrating to the United States for a better life. These people are coming here because of an oppressive government, lack of opportunity, climate change, and femicide. Countries in South America have the highest rates of sexual violence against women in the world, and an average of 12 women are killed a day in South American countries. These immigrants are coming here to have a better life, and there are better solutions than a wall to prevent immigrants from coming in here illegally, such as making it easier for people to come into this country legally. America can not be the best country in the world if we leave behind people who need help. As said by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, “The symbol of America should be the Statue of Liberty, not a 30-foot wall.”

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