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The Great Wall of Trump

by | May 7, 2016

The desert is cold at night, very cold. My family and I are hiding behind a bush that the wind might blow over or just plain blow away. The stars are out and there is just enough light that I can make out an ominous shadow in the distance. We still have at least a mile, but I have watched the wall growing for more than a day, its immense face rising towards the heavens. The coyote, the man we have been fallowing for three days, whispers, “move.” He stepped from behind his hiding spot and moves hunched with the weight of five lives on his back. We gave this man everything, every last cent, with the hope of a new life in a new country. Heart shouting in my chest, I crouched and fallowed. My wife and two daughters are in my wake. There is no sound – that‘s good. I didn‘t know if my girls would be able to handle this trip but there was no choice. We are getting close. There is no cover, nothing left to hide behind. I am drawing ragged breath though dirt bricks forming in my nose. The coyote stops and pricks up his ears. Earlier that evening he told us we were crossing the point of no return, that if we were caught it would not go well for us, he said, “Do not fall behind. I will have to leave you, there are going to be dangers in all directions on both sides of the border.” The coyote continues but faster now. I pick up one of the girls on my burning back, hours of crouching beginning to become unbearable, and my wife does the same. We are very close now. I look up at the wall and I swear that it must be touching the stars. I remember how proud they were when they built it. They said it was impenetrable, too deep to tunnel and too high to scale. We would show them, we would go straight through. The coyote promised us there was a hidden tunnel going through the actual stone, through the metal reinforcement. Out of breath we finally stop under the wall, it‘s shadow making us blind. We wait and I can hear the man‘s hands palming the walls surface. We wait. I build up my courage and say, “where is…” I can see the white of the man‘s eyes as he turns, “shhh,” he hisses. I am frozen in the silence but I can feel the heat from his breath as he draws near. Something shifts in the darkness and the world turns white. I hear my wife and youngest daughter cry out as my head is spinning in all directions. The blindness of the dark is replaced with a much more painful white blindness. I hear the man next to me stumble and air is filled with a chorus, “FREEZE!” I can just make out the man running parallel to the wall when thunder fills the air. The man shakes violently as a storm of bullets hit him all at once. My wife and daughters are crying. My face is wet. Silhouettes enter the blinding light and push us to the ground. I am blindfolded. All I can think is we almost made it; we almost made it into Mexico.

Donald Trump believes that the United States has a problem, that problem is illegal immigration. Donald Trump has proposed that we fix this problem by erecting a wall on the border between Mexico and the United States. First, however, we will deport all the illegal immigrants that are currently living in the United States. I would like to address several logistical problems with this plan. The first problem arises when we think about how we are going to find these people. We are talking about a nation wide manhunt with the ultimate goal of rounding up millions of people and shipping them out of the country. The manpower needed for an operation of this size would be nothing short of a full-scale military operation. Where would we take these people once they have been rounded up? Would we take them to camps in remote areas? How would we keep them from escaping while we prepared to deport them? Would these camps have bars, barbwire, or guards? I would simply like to point out that a scenario in which millions of people are being moved is not as easy as moving them from point A to point B. When you really start to think about the physical requirements of an operation like this it begins to sound not only daunting from a financial standpoint but it begins to sound legitimately scary. The next problem with deporting these people arises when you consider how we will make them leave. Once again I think this will be much more difficult than Mr. Trump would have us believe. These immigrants, although illegal, have made homes and families here; it is a mistake to believe that they will leave them peacefully. Let‘s take a step back and look at the first part of Mr. Trumps plan in its entirety. This plan will require the forceful removal of over 11 million people, at which time we will be forced to imprison them in some manner for some period of time while they await deportation. When you look at this aspect of the plan it begins to look very much like other scenarios in history and I think that history suggests that this plan will come at a heavy price.

 

The next aspect of this plan involves a massive public works project that will be known as the “Great Wall of Trump,” which as the name suggest will be a giant wall. There are many problems with this aspect of the plan as well. The first one I would like to address is who will pay for the wall. Mr. Trump suggests that Mexico will foot the bill for this project. Why would Mexico pay for this wall? I feel that sending them a bill might illicit a response about where America could stick that bill. Assuming that Mexico will not willingly pay for this wall, how would we make Mexico pay for it? I feel like the most likely solution is that the Mexican people would pay for the building of this wall, specifically the Mexican people still in the United States, the Mexican people that our government will have just imprisoned. The cost of this wall will either be one that the American people add to our mounting debt or one that the Mexican people pay with their lives. The biggest and simplest problem with the wall is the fact that it is not going to work. It is not going to work because the current wall doesn‘t work. It is not going to work because the Great Wall of China didn‘t work. The Great Wall of China was unable to stop the Mongols and the Great Wall of Trump will not stop people from crossing our border. The wall is not going to work because there is simply too much money in getting across. The people that are profiting from crossing the border will find a way. Who is profiting from finding ways to cross the border? The people profiting are the same people we are trying to keep out. They are the people sending drugs across the border and they are the people selling hopes of a new life. The wall will not stop these people because they are not the ones crossing. The people crossing are looking for work; they are the ones doing hard labor and giving everything to provide for their families. Mr. Trump would have us believe that these are bad people. I do not believe they are bad but simply a product of environment in which they are taken advantage of by their own people and criminalized by ours. It is our responsibility to change this environment in which the poorest and most desperate are the most penalized.

 

The wall that Donald Trump proposes will not solve any of the problems for which it would be built. The wall would only serve as a trophy for a megalomaniac and as a distraction, one more way for American politicians to externalize our problems. The real problem is not that we have foreign workers entering our country; the problem is that we as a culture have become lazy and arrogant. We as Americans are unwilling to do the jobs that these immigrants are doing. The problem is that we as Americans are not willing to work as hard or as cheaply as these workers. The problem is an entitled American attitude. The wall would, however, make a statement: that there is reason to fear the outside world, that seemingly less fortunate people are to be kept away at all costs, and that a country which owes so much of its economic growth to immigrants has changed so radically that it would attempt to isolate itself. The statement to the world is that we are weak, we are afraid, and once again we think ourselves separate and superior. The solution to the problems we are hoping to fix will not be attained with force, but through hard work and intelligence. America must stop considering itself separate from the actions of the rest of the world. Immigrants are not the degradation of the American culture they are its lifeblood, the very essence of what this country is about. We cannot afford to believe that we are unaffected by the events of the world and we cannot afford to believe that our actions do not affect the world, especially when it comes to Mexico, a country that has been so affected by American foreign policy. America must stop self-serving policing actions that alienate other countries and cultures. Americans must be willing to work harder and for less money. Americans — especially those who look to Donald Trump for leadership — need to stop looking at external causes for our problems and take a good look within. Donald Trumps foreign policy would create an environment in which American power drowns social solutions and only bigger problems can reach the surface.