Should the United States build a wall on the southern border with Mexico?
Note: I would like it to be aware that it is I who am against (con) the border wall, and my opponent, whoever that may be, is for (pro) it.
Border security is paramount to the well being of any nation. That being said, a 2,000-mile-long wall on the southern border of the United States would not be an effective way to achieve border security. Instead, building a wall would be unnecessary, costly, and ineffective.
Supporters of a border wall often cite the large amount of illegal immigrants that pour through the southern border each year as a reason to construct such a barrier. However, these supporters overlook what is causing the massive amounts of illegal immigration in the first place.
The United States has perhaps one of the most cumbersome, weighed-down, and disorganized legal immigration systems in the world. Anybody who wishes to emigrate to the United States legally must wait years upon years and go through a countless amount of paperwork to do so. In addition, there are many people throughout the world that, while they have an urgent wish to move to the United States, do not have the capability or money to go through the legal American immigration process. Most of these people grow desperate, and are left with no choice but to make the dangerous journey, often paying unscrupulous smugglers, across the southern border.
The reason that the argument for a wall arose in the first place was because of this influx of migrants. However, the flow of illegal migrants would be cut drastically by reforming the legal immigration system of the United States in order to make legal immigration safer, easier, and faster than illegal immigration. Once the flow of illegal immigrants is reduced, the border will be under far less pressure, the border patrol won't be as thinly spread, and the need for a wall would be pointless.
It is also important to consider the cost and effectiveness of such a wall. The cost for completing the border wall is estimated as high as $25 billion. In addition, the wall would cost $750 million per year to maintain. Besides such a high cost, the wall would require constant monitoring by border patrol agents and sensing devices to prevent smugglers from either breaking through it, climbing over it, or digging under it. The United States spends $1.4 billion per year paying for the border patrol, and this number would also increase as more agents would be needed for such monitoring. On the other hand, by reforming the legal immigration system (a far less expensive option), there would be far less pressure on the border, and the border patrol's budget would not skyrocket and could even be reduced, all with increased border security.
There are certainly bad apples in every bunch, and there are certainly drug traffickers and other criminals who will try and cross the border illegally. However, the border patrol can better handle these people when they can devote less resources to dealing with migrants and more towards security.
Overall, a border wall would be a costly and unnecessary investment that would do nothing to solve the deep-rooted problem of illegal immigration across the southern border.
Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush and Clint Bolick
With all due respect, I feel that my opponent did not fully understand my position. Of course nobody wants rapists, murderers, drug dealers, and other criminals entering the United States, regardless of whether they enter legally or not. What I'm arguing, however, is that a border wall is not necessary in preventing such horrible people from entering the country. There are two ways that reforming the legal immigration system (a far less expensive option than a border wall), would achieve the same goal. First off, any criminal trying to enter the country legally would obviously be barred from entry, as many currently are. Secondly, a reformed legal immigration system would allow the border patrol to shift much of its attention away from a now much smaller trickle of illegal immigrants and focus more on the nefarious group of rapists, drug dealers, and other felons who are attempting to cross the border. Thus, it would be far harder for these horrible people to sneak into the country, both legally and illegally. Finally, all of this is achieved without a costly border wall.
Build a wall around the Mexican border and have it patrolled by an increased number of border patrol agents. Make gateways to the border and have people entering the US be vetted by even more employees who would be part of a different part of the border patrol.
This is good in a number of ways:
1. It will almost eliminate the entry of criminals from Mexico while fixing all of the issues with my opponents plan
2. Such a large program will require a few million employees, and will help get Americans back to work.
3. Constructing the wall will all be charged from Mexico, so the cost doesn't hurt us. What this spending will do is employ millions of construction workers and will act as one of the many programs we need to establish enable to recover our economy through a modern new deal program.
There are several flaws with the argument made in Round 2 by my opponent. First off, the operations of the border patrol and the federal agencies that handle legal immigration are already completely separate. Therefore, it is not as if the border patrol will not be able to focus on criminals crossing the border illegally because it is too busy vetting immigrants entering the country legally, as the legal vetting will be done by other agencies. In regards to the effectiveness of vetting itself, a reformed and organized legal immigration system (again, a far less costly option then a border wall) will lead to vetting that will be superb in weeding out any criminals or felons who attempt to gain legal access into the United States.
As for the economics of the wall, even at the highest estimated cost of $25 billion, the construction of a border wall would not create "a few million" jobs. Furthermore, any jobs the construction of a wall would create would only be temporary and would expire upon the walls completion. Finally, as mentioned earlier, the upkeep of the wall would cost $750 million a year, which would be money that is constantly flowing out of the economy as tax dollars, which would harm, not help, job growth.
Also, the idea that Mexico will pay for a border wall is just absurd. The Mexican government is far too corrupt, and the Mexican economy benefits far too much from the trafficking of migrants from Latin America and elsewhere across the border, to ever support the idea of a border wall, let alone pay for it.
While the idea of a wall sounds like a smart plan to protect America and improve our immigration system, this isn't so. A wall would simply be costly, burdensome, and ultimately ineffective in solving the complex immigration issues of our times.
“There are several flaws with the argument made in Round 2 by my opponent. First off, the operations of the border patrol and the federal agencies that handle legal immigration are already completely separate. Therefore, it is not as if the border patrol will not be able to focus on criminals crossing the border illegally because it is too busy vetting immigrants entering the country legally, as the legal vetting will be done by other agencies. In regards to the effectiveness of vetting itself, a reformed and organized legal immigration system (again, a far less costly option then a border wall) will lead to vetting that will be superb in weeding out any criminals or felons who attempt to gain legal access into the United States.”
Actually no, drug lords like El Chapo are digging under borders these days; a guard will not do anything. Our only way of preventing this is by putting up a wall that goes deep into the bedrock thus preventing people from digging under our borders. Further, a wall is a symbol of strong borders and national sovereignty, and we need to send out such a message.
You can’t build a house with one brick, this is just one program that will help, besides, 25 billion being put into the hands of the working class will undoubtedly help our economy, even if it is only temporary. This will create spending which will encourage business growth, also 750 million a year is small change to the Federal Government, but regardless will create ~30,000 decent jobs.
Also, this money will not be flowing out of the economy; it will be spent on materials and paid to workers, putting it into the economy. Besides, with a little alteration to the fractional reserve ratio (increasing it) we can simply print more money without causing inflation.
What does that have to do with anything? Look, we have like 2,000 warheads just lying around, look at our military statistics compared to theirs: