As Donald Trump settles in to the presidential office, the public awaits his actions regarding his planned border wall. Unfortunately, the future of this project isn’t looking all that great. The wall will cause much more harm than good to not just to Mexicans, but to Americans as well. By preventing innocent international people from entering the United States, the U.S. is hindering the hopes and dreams that immigrants carry when entering America. America is thought to be the country where dreams come true; the country where something can be made from nothing. Perhaps the “American Dream” will soon be nothing but shreds. The quicker the United States learns that by helping immigrants they are indeed helping themselves, the sooner this issue will be resolved.
The wall will be a wasteful project and it will come at an incredible expense. The wall will further divide the U.S. and Mexico, and tensions between the two countries will rise. Meanwhile, little change will be seen in the number of undocumented immigrants in America.
Unlike the popular belief that the intentions of undocumented immigrants are to live off American government subsidies, commit criminal activity, or steal higher paying jobs from American workers, the truth is that these acts rarely happen. Surprisingly, most illegal immigrants arrive in America with a visa through the airport and then overstay these visas. In fact, a new study by the Center for Migration Studies (CMS) shows that 66 percent of undocumented immigrants entered the U.S. as tourists and simply never left. Additionally, immigrants are also less likely to commit crimes than native Americans. Once in the United States, immigrants don’t want to leave; the “American Dream” can’t be achieved in jail or post-deportation. Studies also show that the percentage of those crossing the Mexican border illegally is increasing in terms of non-Mexicans (El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala natives). These people flee their countries due to political, drug, or gang-related violence. They just want help.
Aside from the wall’s efforts to keep undocumented immigrants out of America, this wall won’t change the fact that the United States currently houses 11 million undocumented immigrants, many of whom are hard-working, dedicated individuals, whose only crime is their immigration status. It would be inhumane to deport all 11 million immigrants back to their home countries. It would cause a traumatic break in families. To better U.S. citizens’ lives, the immigrants’ lives must be helped. A pathway must be paved to help grant immigrants legal status. Once these 11 million individuals have been granted legal status and, later, citizenship, the economy will better, helping Americans tremendously.
Contrary to Trump’s wall, a better solution is suggested by a Mexican woman interviewed as part of Catherine Carr’s documentary for BBC News. As she touches on her story of being in a violent relationship, where her American husband would threaten to have her deported if she didn’t do as he said, she suggests that “we [humans] need to be building bridges of communication, not walls of separation.” A wall of separation will not only reflect poorly on the U.S., but will harm many and stir up hate that the world does not need.
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