With all of the problems that the United States is facing from illegal immigration, maybe it is time that the American government should have a stronger form of border control. For years there has been talk of a stronger border and in some cases there has been action. However, with the opinions in favor of a stronger border security, such as a border wall, there are also strong opinions against the idea. A border wall would help the United States with security issues; it might also slow down the number of immigrants coming across the border every year.
The fact is that something must be done to slow down illegal immigration before this country becomes over populated. Illegal immigrants are taking jobs away from American citizens, who at this moment during the recession need those jobs more than ever. The United States government must take action; a border wall needs to be placed along the border for the safety of the American people. As of May 2006 there are an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States. These people should not be here, and the number of illegal immigrants continues to grow.
The amount of illegal immigrants will get bigger and bigger every year unless the United States sets up some kind of border wall. In 2006 President George W. Bush signed the Secure Fence Act, this document authorized the building of a 700-mile fence to be right along the United States-Mexican border. At the time, Mexican President Vicente Fox “described the plan as ‘shameful’ saying that it demonstrated ‘the United States government’s inability to understand the migration problem in an integrated way’” (Xinhua 1).
President Fox and the Mexican government do not want to stop illegal immigration because it helps their country to prosper. Majority of the illegal immigrants send money back to help their families that have been left behind in Mexico. On a trip to Salt Lake City, Utah in 2006 President Fox said, “Immigration is the most pressing challenge to the relationship between his country and the United States…” (Vergakis 1). It is a very strong pressing issue between these two nations however, Mexico does not seem to want to fix the illegal immigration problem.
Every time some solution is put into place the European Union and Mexico vote to keep it from happening. For example: “The Mexico-European Union Joint Parliamentary Commission has denounced the construction of a wall along the border by the United States…” (BBC 1). If Mexico is not willing to help find a solution then how can these countries ever resolve the issue? “Since the beginning of my administration, the government of Mexico has promoted the establishment of a new system that regulates the movement of people across our border in a manner which is legal, safe and orderly,” Fox told the Utah Legislature (Vergakis 1).
Vicente Fox became the Mexican President in December of 2000 and his Mexican government has not done anything to help stop or even remotely stop illegal immigration. The illegal immigration numbers in the United States grew by an average of 525,000 people per year from 2000 to 2005. President Fox and his government have allowed the illegal immigration population to increase every year, for at least five years. That is not a system that regulates movement in a legal way. Fox has stated before that he would like to see “legal channels” for immigrants (Thompson 1).
Everyone wants to have legal channels for immigrants and President Fox has expressed it many times, but he does not seem to want to take the necessary action towards getting these legal channels for immigrants. Should there be legal channels or should there be stronger laws against immigration. W. E. Jacobs writes that during the 1920s “laws to control immigration have ranged from outright bans to some nationalities to numerical quotas imposed according to country origin” (Jacobs 1). At least during the 1920s the American government seemed to have some sort of idea on how to keep illegal immigration down.
Although laws and bans can only go so far. Maybe during the 20s all it took was a written document to keep immigrants at bay, but now the situation has grown slightly more complicated. The situation gets even worse as the United States’ population grows. A census is taken every ten years, and that census does not include all of the illegal immigrants. “Estimates of the number of people living in the United States illegally range up to 20 million, although the figure most often cited is 12 million. The fact that these immigrants are not officially registered makes it impossible to have a precise number” (Jacobs 3).
Twenty million people here in the United States illegally, people that are not even registered in the United States. If these people are not registered, what does the government actually know about them? This leaves a lot of room for security problems such as terrorists and drug traffickers. “Ethnic criminal gangs and illegal drug smuggling is evidence that the new immigrants pose a threat to the security of the United States. The prospect of terrorists could easily enter the United States from Mexico is also cited as a reason to clamp down on immigration” (Jacobs 3).
The United States of America is currently fighting over seas in the “War on Terrorism”; this war has been going on for seven years and is a reason that the government is trying to focus on illegal immigration more closely. Micah Issitt states that, “The issue of illegal immigration came to the forefront of politics again after the 2001 terrorist attacks on the US, and Congress began seriously debating funding a border fence” (Issitt 2). A border wall would help to protect the country and her citizens.
The government does not want to stop immigrants from coming over into the United States; they just want to see it done in a more secure way. Nobody wants to have another September 11, 2001 anywhere in the world, and the US is trying to protect her borders from terrorists coming in through the US-Mexican border as the illegal immigrants do. Ginger Thompson shows that with all of the disagreement coming from Mexico about a border wall, there has been some agreement. Some people in Mexico are stating that “another view is gaining traction: that good fences can make good neighbors” (Thompson 1).
President Fox may object to having a border wall, but some Mexican people do not. The people may know what they are talking about, and if they do not view a border wall, as an offensive gesture then why should the President. “Several immigration experts have even begun floating the idea that real walls, not the porous ones that stand today, could be more an opportunity than an attack” (Thompson 1). If immigration experts can make the adjustment that perhaps a border wall would be a better idea than a wrong one, maybe the United States and Mexico should agree to have a strong border wall built.
If good fences really do tend to make good neighbors then why should there not be a border wall? The United States and Mexico get along peacefully, as allies and neighbors. Both countries try to help the other out when necessary, so why can they not agree to do something about the illegal immigration problem. Some object to the mere idea of a wall, as if it were somehow insulting to enforce our own laws. No one objects to the walls we put on our houses, or to the fences we build between our neighbors, or even considers it insulting to put locks on doors.
A wall does not mean no one will ever be let into the country; it simply a matter of wanting to be aware of who is coming immigrating into our country, and being able to control that immigration (Rich 1). If immigration can be controlled, then the United States government may feel a little safer about knowing how many illegal immigrants are in the US. Having a border wall would allow the US to keep closer tabs on the illegal immigrants coming into the country, and that would give a certain sense of security.
There have been walls throughout history that have been used in a protective manner, which is exactly what the United States wants to do, protect herself. History shows that some of the greatest walls ever made have been put into place for protection. According to Sally Driscoll border walls have been used all over the world for protection. For example: the Great Wall of China built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The Great Wall was used to prevent attacks from rival forces. The Roman Emperor Hadrian (76-138 CE) had a stone wall built in 122 CE to protect the very vulnerable Britain.
The wall stretched through Britain nearly 73 miles (2). If these walls were used for protection and no one appeared to have made a huge ordeal about it, then why can’t the United States have a border wall with Mexico? Some people say that a US-Mexican border wall would resemble the Berlin Wall. However, Alex K. Rich states, “the comparison is inapt. The Berlin wall was built to prevent citizens of East Germany from escaping oppressive communist rule. The US-Mexican border would be designed to prevent those who are not citizens of the US from coming in uninvited” (Rich 1). The Berlin wall was built in 1961to divide East and West Berlin, and later extended to divide all of Germany. This wall was put into place to keep East Germans from crossing over into the West. The East part of Germany was in control by the communists, because of this the people wanted to leave the communist rule. The East wanted to go to the West. The Communist government could not allow this, and so the Berlin Wall was put into place. A border wall between the United States and Mexico would not be used in the same way was the Berlin Wall. It would be used to regulate the amount of immigrants, not to keep people out for good.
The United States just wants to protect her borders and slow down the rapid rate of illegal immigration growth. President Fox has said, “Mexico wants to be part of the immigration solution, not the problem. ” (Intelligence Wire 1). If Mexico wants to be part of the solution, then they should try by slowing down the illegal immigration rates into the US. “When solving the illegal immigration problem, we must consider its root causes: the lack of jobs in Mexico and the lack of penalties for hiring illegal immigrants in the US” (Rich 2).
The United States government should take care of the hiring illegal immigrants, there should be stricter laws and a harsher penalty such as the removal of all illegal immigrant workers if one gets caught. That part should be left for the United States government. Now as for the lack of jobs in Mexico, that is not the United States problem. That is the Mexican government’s problem. The United States has nothing to do with the lack of jobs Mexico has, Mexico should be figuring out a way to get more jobs supplied for the Mexican people that way they do not continue to come to America in search of work.
“As long as the border is permeable, the Mexican government will have no incentive to create more Mexican jobs, since anyone who wants a job can simply cross the border into the United States” (Rich 2). It would appear as though President Fox never had any intention of slowing down or stopping the immigration problem. All of the illegal immigrants are helping to boost Mexico’s economy. The immigrant workers send money back to their families in Mexico. This helps to stimulate the Mexican economy.
The Mexican economy would fall into deeper trouble than it is in now without the help from the United States. If a border wall were put into place the Mexican economy would plummet and may not survive. This is the reason President Fox will not fully commit to having a strong scared of what will happen if the immigrants do not get to send their money home to Mexico. However, this is not the United States problem. This is a problem for the Mexican government. If Mexico cannot take care of her own people, then what is the point of them being considered their own country?
A border wall must be put into place; this would force Mexico to worry about her own economy and to stop relying so heavily on the United States. If you want proof that border walls work: a wall was put up in Naco, Arizona and “the border patrol agents reported that the wall built there cut illegal immigration in half within a year” (Rich 1). Another example took place in 1990, when the United States had a 66-mile fence built from San Diego to the Pacific Ocean. “Illegal immigrants in the San Diego region declined sharply as a result of the fence…” (Driscoll 3).
The problem now is that when one regions illegal immigration rate drops another part of the United States goes up drastically. If we want to stop all of the illegal immigration numbers from rising, then action must be taken. A wall in San Diego and a wall in Arizona is not enough. There should be a strong border wall built along the entire 2,000-mile US-Mexican border. That will solve the problem. Illegal immigration has been a very serious problem in the United States for many years, and the best way to fix this problem is to take a serious stand and let the Mexican government help their people for a change.
However, Mexico has become so dependent on the American jobs supplied to illegal immigrants that the government is not willing to do anything about it. The illegal immigrants are taking jobs from American citizens and sending the money back to Mexico for their families when the money is actually needed here for the American citizens and their families. The protection and security of the country is another reason why there should be a strong border wall between Mexico and the US.
After what happened in September of 2001 the United States needs to take every precaution in trying to guarantee the safety of its citizens. The United States is responsible for taking care of her citizens not Mexico’s. As much as the Mexican government claims that it wants to help find a solution, they aren’t really doing anything to solve it. The Mexican government is not offering new jobs to Mexican citizens and they will continue that until they are forced to fix the problem. The only way to get Mexico to help her own citizens is to place a strong border wall all along the United States-Mexican border.