CNN's Lavandera (2017) offers a compilation of reports and research information to argue the complex nature of Donald Trump's agenda to curb immigration issues through the construction of a border wall along the US-Mexican border. Lavandera (2017) challenges the efficacy of the wall regarding penetrability and the cost. Lavandera's (2017) argument is that Trump's wall is a complex task marred with complications ranging from logistical, legal, monetary, environmental, and diplomatic hurdles. From a legal perspective, Lavandera (2017) argues that the realization of the wall is reliant on the outcomes of the lawsuits between the US government and the private landowners. It follows that vast tracks of land at the US-Mexico border are privately owned. Therefore, the success of the wall construction will depend on the outcome of the lawsuits that the private landowners might file to bar the US government from accessing the construction sites. Lavandera (2017) cites efficacy issues from the fact that the people whose lands traverse both Mexico and the US will require access to their property hence questioning how impenetrable the wall will be. The legal issues surrounding the acquisition of private lands introduce the issue of cost. First, it will cost the government a huge sum of money to seize or purchase private properties lying on the border especially the land stretching across southern Arizona majority of it belonging to individuals from Indian tribes.
Border Wall Effect on Environment
Environmental hurdles include the border terrain and the possibility of the project exhausting resources in the regions. Most of the areas between Mexico and the US are rugged hence the possibility of environmental issues in building the border wall. Lavandera (2017) takes an instance of the boundary regions across California and Arizona which are dry, and the environmental consideration in the construction process is such that the structure should not hinder the flow of natural run-off. Stopping the flow of water can trigger flooding. In areas with sand dunes, unique floating structures are necessary to facilitate the free movement of the sand dunes. The border is desert-like and has rugged terrains, unfinished fences, and the Rio Grande River which present construction issues (Glover, 2017). As a result of the desert condition, the procedure will require a lot of water for curing the concrete, and the principal source is the Rio Grande River. Exhausting water from the river can lead to adverse effects on the resources along the southwestern region. The diplomatic challenges facing the construction of the wall entail the lack of Mexican government's cooperation evident recently when the Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto canceled the proposed meeting with Donald Trump on Tuesday 31-st January 2017. According to Lavandera (2017), some areas on the border such as river flood spaces and others with treaty obligations will warrant the diversion of the wall towards the US land, and for that reason, the Mexican government might not pay for extensions that are not in the no-man zone. The eminent lack of cooperation from the Mexican government challenges the possibility of Trump's agenda to alleviate immigration issues facing the US. In a nutshell, although the construction of the wall is possible, Trump has a challenging assignment of averting financial, environmental, and diplomatic hurdles to realize the dream of stemming illegal immigration.
I support the XX argument that the move to curb immigration issues using a border wall is challenging. A physical barrier is expensive and is likely to hurt the country's economy and divert resources that could be essential in enhancing transportation infrastructure across the US's cities and sustaining the production of green energy and regional supply chains. There is a possibility of channeling the resources into cost-effective strategies for preventing illegal immigration such as setting appropriate tools for tracking visa overstays as one of the leading contributors of illegal immigration other than the porosity of the border. There is also an issue of the effectiveness of the wall considering the most efficient tools for curbing immigration lie within the country and not at the countries' frontiers (Beerli & Peri, 2015). If the US government expects to achieve an effective curb on illegal immigration, it is essential to structure laws that control the inflow of immigrants by cooperating with the neighboring countries in structuring sustainable legal procedures that filter the individuals who aspire to enter the US. It can be cheaper for the US government to strengthen internal laws governing illegal immigration by enforcing such laws than constructing a border wall. The law should only sanction illegal immigrants but also impose severe measures on those who employ them. Another argument that can substantiate Lavandera's (2017) proposition of wall construction as a complex issue other than the hurdles in the building process is that the whole idea presents ethical issues among the civil engineering and architecture bodies. There is a professional ethical code that conflicts with the construction of the wall and binds the Members of the Civil Engineers Society and Architects Institute of America. From the human rights perspective, it is ethical for architects and civil engineers to design and construct the wall as a way of organizing space but unethical if the border wall will serve as a barrier to human interaction, livelihood, and movement (The American Institute of Architects, 2016). The professional codes bind the specialists who are expected to participate in the construction process. An example is the one that stipulates that the members of the ASCE should always strive to uphold the provision of human rights in all professional tasks and should exercise unbiased and unprejudiced judgment (The American Institute of Architects, 2016). As a result, the architects and civil engineers have the complex task of critically thinking of sustainable, humane, and secure ways of designing the wall.
Furthermore, the lack of cooperation from the Mexican president challenges Trump's statement "We build the wall and make Mexico pay for it" prompting more intriguing questions on the ways of making the Mexican government accountable for the project (Glover, 2017). Other than the complexity of the project, its viability is also uncertain considering the availability of alternative efforts for curbing immigration issues such as enhancing the definition, implementation, and assessment of immigration laws especially the laws on the employment sector that restrict the inflow of immigrants. Over time, the unfavorable labor market for Americans due to the disparaging minimum wage directed to the locals attracts the employment of illegal immigrants (Beerli & Peri, 2015). It is possible to curb the inflow of illegal immigrants by drying the labor market by increasing the minimum wage for Americans and enforcing immigration laws for the purpose of protecting jobs. By stemming the tide of illegal job-seeking immigrants, the cost of curbing immigration will be lower than the construction of the border wall. The enforcement of the laws should occur in close cooperation with the US Labor Department to establish legal codes that govern the employment of undocumented employees. Therefore, I concur with CNN's Lavandera (2017) suggestion that despite the possibility of the construction of the wall, there are significant monetary, diplomatic, and environmental issues that complicate the whole procedure.
Beerli, A., & Peri, G. (2015, August 17). The labor market effect of opening the border to immigrant workers.
Glover, S. (2017, January 25). The many challenges facing Trump's wall.
Lavandera, E. (2017, January 23). Building Trump's wall: For Texans, it's complicated.
The American Institute of Architects. (2016). 2012 Code of Ethics. New York: The American Institute of Architects.
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