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For Better Or Worse: Trump’s Southern Border Wall

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Introduction to the Topic

Since the election of President Trump, there has been a promise from his, as well as his campaign team that a physical wall will be constructed along the southern border. At the onset of this statement, there was going to be a clear divide between those voted for and supported Trump, and those who saw him as a vile contestant in the race for the Commander in chief of the United States of America. What do the Conservatives see as a positive outcome of the wall? What do the Liberals see as a negative outcome of the wall? There are many questions to be asked of when researching this topic. The goal is to see a correlation between whether someone considers themselves a Liberal or Conservative, and their respective Wall opinions. With such a strong divide of supporters and anti supporters, there is conflict when talking about this topic. Is a United States of America with the wall, a true utopia? Or is a United States of America without the wall, a true utopia? As the author, it is a goal to remain unbiased and simply point out the facts in regards to both sides of this seemingly everlasting topic.

What are the Facts?

As background knowledge to the current topic at hand, there is much to look in to. During his campaign, Trump had promised a true “physical” wall along the nearly 2,000-mile stretch of land. Trump and his campaign manager have said that 5.7 billion US dollars are what is estimated to complete this structure. The reason for this desire is because, close to one-third of the current border, is a patrolled border. This means there is no actual physical border separating the United States from Mexico. It is being seperated by our highly militarized and border patrol agents, as well as natural separators. Vast mountains, rivers, and stretches of land separate us from Mexico, where a physical wall does not. For the areas of the wall that do in fact physically separate the United States from Mexico, they are in crucial need of an upgrade. Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost states that “As our adversaries are increasingly sophisticated we must invest in an upgraded border wall system to keep pace against the threat.” (Timmons). In the conversation today, it seems that border security is a must. And we can all agree that we need to keep our people, and the land of the free, safe.

What are the Economic Costs?

Congress has since approved 1.7 billion dollars in funding to be spent for nearly 124 miles of the new border. In addition to this, Congress has recently in the last month, approved an additional 1.4 billion dollars for 55 more miles of the border wall. Safe from drugs, and safe from criminals, but at what cost aside from money, is this all necessary? Must we build a costly wall and restrict many foreigners from entering? This is the land of the free, but that statement also means we should have the freedom to protect our American people. This, by building the wall and lowering drug rates as well as illegal immigrant rates. What’s the true cost and can there be a compromise to satisfy both sides?

Research Methods

Throughout the research process, much of the sources that are used, and articles that are read, are opinionated and target a specific crowd. This is done, so the writer can strategically “pick” the reader. Sources do this typically with politically driven subjects. Many of those sources are bias to their political opinion so they can take advantage of this in an attempt to persuade readers. When looking into the Grant-Davie article on Rhetorical Situations, and their Constituents this point in proven. Said in the article, “ Political speeches often use specific topics to represent larger, more enduring issues such as questions of civil rights, public safety, free enterprise, constitutionality, separation of church and state, morality, family values, progress, equality, fairness, and so forth. These larger issues, values, or principles motivate people and can be invoked to lead audiences in certain directions on more specific topics” (Grant-Davie). Here, Grant-Davie, is saying that articles, sources, and talks, about large and valuable principles, result in motivation. It is the writer’s goal to motivate the reader into one opinion over the other. The result of this is a large group of highly motivated readers that have taken into account, only the writer’s opinion on that subject, rarely ever do those articles contain the true facts.

The Democrats Opinion

When looking into the left, or the Democratic opinion, much of the research is expressed through tense emotion. Trump’s wall is not a physic building, but more a cultural difference. It extends not only to the United States and Mexico but also to the aspects of religion. Christians and Muslims, as well as immigrants from all countries that think they are more than others. To the left, the separation of countries and the construction of the wall is a form of racial discrimination, culture, and power. All aspects which stimulate fear, hatred, and distrust. This seems to be just one of the reasons for the left to dislike the idea of wall construction.

To another point, not only would the wall be costly, but a majority of what the United States already has, is “enough” in the opinion of the left. “…most people in the United States are opposed to building the new barrier, particularly one with a price tag of somewhere between $15 and $40 billion USD— or somewhere between 101 and 270 times the National Endowment for the Arts’ annual budget, estimates Carolina Miranda in the Los Angeles Times.”(Schlechter 145). With rising taxes and increasing budgets, it is seemingly impossible to see a break for the suffering middle class. With this being said what more could the left bring to the table in their fight for no wall?

Next comes the issue of privacy and what has already been built. According to Schlechter, “Most of the already-existing walls and fencing stand on federally-owned land. Much of the rest of the land where Trump’s Great Wall would be built is either privately-held or owned by Native tribes. Given this fact, the Trump administration will have a big legal battle on its hands” (Schlechter 146). This would bring a whole new onset of issues to Trump and his administration.

In addition to what would become a very large and tedious legal battle, there is also the idea that what the United States has now, is working and will continue to work. With so much of our current souther border being littered with many different forms and materials from walls that have failed in the past, why make another attempt? The left sees no reason to try again for another working birder, as it has failed in many past administrations. Throughout the many different administrations that have come through the White House, many have attempted to either fix or add to the southern border. “The U.S.-Mexico borderlands is also already littered with several hundred miles of barricades—in the form of walls, fences, and low-lying vehicle barriers—almost all of which were constructed since the mid-1990s, across administrations, both Democratic and Republican. In some of the most urbanized stretches along the international divide, double-layered barriers exist. In and around San Diego, for example, a corrugated metal wall is paired with a steel mesh fence, portions of which are topped with concertina wire” (Schlechter 152). It can be said that the strong liberal desire for no wall, steams from their view on the “perfect” society. The strong reasons for the border wall come from Trump and the statistics that point out the mass flow of narcotics and illegal immigrants that come into the United States. When looking at the ideals of what the average Democrat sees in America, the wall completely contradicts this. Every Democrat in office or campaign builds their reputation on the desire that American will become a “immigration safe haven” with borders open to all. If we build the wall and heighten border security, where are the immigrants supposed to go? This could possibly be one of the main reasons as to why Democrats fight so hard to keep the new wall only a dream for Trump and his administration.

In addition to these conflicts, at nearly 6.5 million dollars per mile, for a new wall, could we be spending our money in a more efficient and usable way? Liberals also have the support from Senator Ted Cruz, which comes as a surprise, that money should not just solely be spent on the construction of the wall, but to also increase the technology used to screen mail coming in from China. As fentanyl comes into the United States from there at alarming rates. Cruz does not fully support the wall because of this reason. Democratic presidential nominee Hubert Humphrey, while running against Nixon, stated that “The Republican Party has forgotten, if it ever remembered, people of Spanish surname,” Humphrey said, “They have forgotten what we call ‘Mexican-Americans’ … You can read the record of the Republican Party … and my friends, you’ll never find anything about El Paso. You’ll never find anything about a Spanish-speaking American.” (Timmons). There seems to be a assumption that throughout Republican presidential campaigns, throughout history, have done away with the idea of Mexican Americans.

To the advantage of the Democrats, much of what Trump and his administration have talked about, in regards to why the wall should be built, has proven to be exaggerated. According the The Washington Post, counties that are along the southern border, are among the safest counties in the United States. “The crime rates in U.S. border counties are lower than the average for similarly sized inland counties, with two exceptions out of 23 total” (Horton). So where does the fear of undocumented immigrants killing Americans come from? Sally Kohn, writer for USA Today, brings up convincing evidence in regards to illegal border crossings. They happen to be down from the peak in 2000. Back then, nearly 1.6 million people were apprehended in their attempts to cross the border. These numbers are similar to those seen in 2001. 1.3 million apprehended. In the past year, 400,000 were apprehended. Quite a significant difference. Though these facts alone will not convince the Conservative political figures and think tanks. Their opinions are just as strong as the Democrats.

The Conservatives Opinion

During the early 2000s, neurologist Read Montague conducted a study attempting to find a correlation between neural responses and political ideology. It consisted of showing subjects disturbing images while conducting a brain scan. The results were astonishing. Montague states “The brains of liberals and conservatives reacted in wildly different ways to repulsive pictures: Both groups reacted, but different brain networks were stimulated” (Montague 3). When compared to liberals, the conservatives in the study generally paid more attention to and reacted more strongly to a large array of threats. That last sentence is on that comes to stand out the most, as conservatives and their brain scans during this test, were found to be less apprehensive when it came to threats. This can be correlated to the base of a conservatives campaign. Whether in office, congress, or senate, most conservatives build their arguments off of the fight for safety. Looking at the array of threats our current border security allows. It is only within their nature, that a political conservative would react more strongly to these threats. This reaction resulting in the support for Trump’s wall.

Conservative Opinion Cont. Facts along the Border

According to the US Customs and Border Patrol statistics, specifically, drugs seized along the border, results are staggering. In 2018, it can be estimated that 80% of fentanyl, 87% of methamphetamine, 88% of cocaine, and 90% of heroin was seized along the US Mexico border. There is clearly a positive correlation between drug interception and a southern border. In addition to the facts above, Trump’s administration has stated numerous times that 90% of all narcotics that make their way into the United States come across the southern border. A release of a conference with President Trump from the White House, states “Last month, more than 76,000 illegal migrants arrived at our border. We’re on track for a million illegal aliens to rush our borders. People hate the word “invasion,” but that’s what it is. It’s an invasion of drugs and criminals and people. We have no idea who they are, but we capture them because border security is so good. But they’re put in a very bad position, and we’re bursting at the seams. Literally, bursting at the seams. What Border Patrol is able to do is incredible.” (Trump).

Nearly 80,000 illegals made an attempt to cross our current border into the United States, with those kinds of numbers, an upgraded wall of any kind will result in the higher incarceration rate. That act, protecting millions of Americans. It is in the brain of the average Conservative, to act upon threats more than the average Liberal, in accordance to Read Montague as stated earlier. So why is this? Montagues team, through laboratory research, conducted experiments and found that through a state by state breakdown, researchers found that resistance to immigration was greater in the states that had the highest incidence of infectious disease and the “worry” about that disease was high, found by internet searches through Google Trends. But why at all is this correlated or matter? They seem to be looking at two completely different topics. They happen to be much more related than previously thought. It was concluded that those states with high disgust sensitivity, similar to the spike in search trends around the infectious disease, tend to be hesitant of any stranger, which of course can be directly related to immigrants.

Conclusion

Throughout the research of this topic, we have looked at the various costs of the Wall, the different opinions brought forth by not only Democrats, but also Republicans, and we have also looked at the cold hard facts. We’ve found, that the reason for each political sides opinion, is their strong perception of life, their eutopia. It was found that a correlation between disgust, and political opinion, tied Conservatives, closely with the same group of people who are weary to outsiders. This would explain one of the right wings desire for a wall. We’ve seen the many reasons as to why the left wing does not want the wall. The high costs, the uselessness of such project, when a wall is already in place, and the desire for open immigration are just some of the reasons why Democrats do not want the wall. We looked into the cold hard facts. What’s already out there? It has been clear that the wall will be costly. There have been reasons provided as to why the wall is a good idea, and there have been reasons as to why the wall would be a bad idea. As the writer, it is not up to me to persuade you as the reader into choosing one side over the other. Though, as the writer it is my job to point out the facts and bring all to the table. The decision comes down to you and only you. Don’t be persuaded by the politically biased articles out there. Do your research by looking deep and decide for yourself, is the wall For Better or Worse?  

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For Better Or Worse: Trump’s Southern Border Wall. (2021, December 16). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 1, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/for-better-or-worse-trumps-southern-border-wall/
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For Better Or Worse: Trump’s Southern Border Wall. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/for-better-or-worse-trumps-southern-border-wall/> [Accessed 1 Oct. 2022].
For Better Or Worse: Trump’s Southern Border Wall [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Dec 16 [cited 2022 Oct 1]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/for-better-or-worse-trumps-southern-border-wall/
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