The Great Wall of America

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Published February 7, 2017
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The Montclarion
Photo Courtesy: Wonderlane (Flickr)
Photo Courtesy: Wonderlane (Flickr)

Photo Courtesy: Wonderlane (Flickr)

The Great Wall of China served as a barrier against invading enemies during ancient times. While the Chinese Empire possessed a genuine reason for its construction, modern-day Americans remain divided on President Donald Trump’s proposal to build a $15 billion wall along the 2,000-mile border between the United States and Mexico. During his presidential campaign, Trump vowed to control the number of immigrants entering the United States to provide greater opportunities, safety and patriotism for American citizens, a vision that not only gained him tremendous support but contributed to his victory in the election against Hillary Clinton.

Although research is often crucial in analyzing this controversy, it is equally important to investigate the misinformation among Americans using a logically opinionated format that bases itself on facts while disregarding the extent of people’s political knowledge.

There are three general and categorical views Americans express toward the border wall. The first consists of those who are entirely against immigration due to issues such as increased job competition, drug trade, violence and more. The second category consists of Americans who purely sympathize with immigrants and believe that the United States should grant them a haven. This group views the wall as a radical solution to immigration due to the lack of such extremes throughout the decades.

The last category consists of all American citizens who commiserate with immigrants, but are simultaneously aware that excessive immigration into the United States is problematic. Essentially, it can be difficult for an individual to declare a side in this controversy since Americans in each category rigorously support their arguments. However, many of the “facts” regarding immigration are inaccurate and distort people’s views on the wall and theories on immigration.

Millions of Americans are convinced that the construction of a border wall will significantly decrease job competition. However, a large portion of immigrants are seeking occupations that most citizens view unappealing. Farming, a laborious task with low wages, is unfavorable to many Americans, but is widely accepted by immigrants given their agricultural experience. In addition, farmers can gain extra profit because immigrants will work for low wages.

However, there are circumstances that do stir job competition between Americans and immigrants. Starbucks, for example, recently announced that it will allow 10,000 positions for refugees worldwide to combat Trump’s travel ban. This not only creates a slight level of difficulty for students to find part-time jobs in local Starbucks stores, but more importantly, unemployed Americans.

Supporters of Trump’s border wall believe that it will significantly reduce the amount of drugs and violence illegal immigrants bring into the country. While immigrants are often portrayed as seeking to take advatage of their arrival over the Mexico–United States border, more violence occurs between American citizens than illegal immigrants generate. Nevertheless, violence has occasionally sparked between both. In January of this year, an illegal immigrant was shot dead by a passing motorist after killing a pedestrian in high speed, exiting the vehicle and wounding an officer by banging his head against a cement surface in Arizona.

These are only few of the many issues that leave the American public statistically misinformed, creating an unnecessary discrepancy between Americans in support and those opposed to Trump’s construction of a border wall. It is best to consider the pros and cons of building a wall rather than hastily align with a category of Americans who either completely support or oppose the idea. Many Americans are quick to decide because they have not been fully exposed to the elements of immigration.

Perhaps America’s Great Wall can limit the number of illegal immigrants attempting to enter the country and allow a greater focus on vetting and admitting more immigrants legally. This solution will not only decrease the downsides of immigration, but will allow genuine immigrants to contribute to greater opportunities, safety and patriotism that the United States of America continues to promote.

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