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During the many rallies of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, no chants ever rang quite as loudly as, “Build that wall!” Yet nearly two years into his presidency, the wall remains unbuilt and Republican congressional leaders look likely to capitulate on yet another funding fight. While a border wall is likely not the highest priority fix for border security nor the most effective, failure to win on wall funding yet again threatens to seriously demoralize the Trump base and send the signal to the rest of the world that our southern border remains unsecured.
House leaders unveiled a bill this week to extend government funding until Dec. 21, moving the shutdown battle up to right before Christmas. That makes it even less likely that President Trump will get the $5 billion in wall funding that he wants (which itself would only pay for a fraction of the wall’s total cost), at a time when the number of Central American families showing up to our southern border has risen rapidly in recent months.
Wall - Benefit - Wall - Flow - Drugs
But why do we need a wall? A major benefit of a wall is that it would restrict the flow of drugs into our country. In 2017, over 48,000 Americans died of opioid-related overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That same year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized 953 pounds of heroin. Barriers along the border (including a wall where needed) would push smugglers toward ports of entry, where it is significantly more likely that drugs would be detected. Strategic walling could save thousands of lives.
As for the flow of people, a wall is certainly important—but it is an incomplete solution if it is not paired with asylum law reform. Even a 50-foot above-and-below-ground wall is ineffective when any unaccompanied minor or family can show up to...
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"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift