Hold on to your pocketbooks. Donald Trump signed an executive order on January 25th to initiate building a wall on the border of the United States. What’s worse? Republicans in Congress are going to designate taxpayer dollars to fund it.
You heard that right–the money you work for, day in and day out, is going towards a monument to Donald Trump’s ego and America’s racism.
Now, this wall concept is not a surprise. This is a longstanding promise of the Trump campaign, described at various times to be anywhere between 30 and 60 feet tall (and could be higher, as Trump threatened when Mexico refused to pay) and is estimated to cost between $12 billion and $15 billion dollars.
While the actual details are scarce, what we have all known about this wall is that it is a completely unnecessary fraudulent waste of taxpayer dollars and government attention. Illegal immigration from Mexico has declined in recent years. Most undocumented folks fly into the country legally then overstay their visas.
So it should be clear: a border wall will not solve any problems, but could create many new ones.
The wall will certainly be a point of violence and contention for those on either side of its border. Border security is already rife with armed forces ready to take out anyone who dare crosses into the United States.
Further, this absolute waste of taxpayer money is taking funds and attention from more important and pressing issues, such as funding for healthcare, education, and childcare. American taxpayers are going to foot the bill for this zero sum project. And let me be clear: that includes Black folks, Latinx, and undocumented folks. We all pay taxes, too.
The wall has already harmed diplomatic relations between Mexico and the United States, as Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has cancelled his scheduled trip to meet with Trump. Mexico is our ally and currently our third largest trading partner—and we are expected to throw all of that away for Trump’s and his followers’ racist and deluded hopes that a wall will keep brown people out?
Also, let us remember that this wall is additionally constructed on belief that Mexico is “taking our jobs” and hurting us on trade. But we should note that manufacturing jobs that move to Mexico (or any other country) in search of cheaper labor are. not. coming. back. And if they do, they are not the same straight out of high school, middle class supporting careers they once were. They are likely automated for a robot.
In addition, Trump’s suggested 20% tax on Mexican imports to pay for the wall would actually hurt the American buyer. When Trump voters go to the store and find their everyday products are more expensive because of a ridiculous and unnecessary trade war, I wonder if they will find comfort in the taxpayer expensed southern border wall?
This plan is hurting Mexico’s economy as well. The peso’s value decreased after the American-Mexican head of state meeting next week was cancelled. But Trump does not care that our economies and people’s lives hang in the balance. He just wants to build that wall.
This wall will send a ridiculous message to Mexico and to the world that the United States is inward-looking, backwards, and ahistorical. Do we not remember the human rights abuses concerning the Berlin Wall, for example? People died trying to get across, people lost touch with members of their family, and there was little exchange of ideas across this physical and ideological barrier.
We cannot be silent. This wall and Trump’s “immigration plan” is outdated, overblown, and racist. We all need to pull a Vicente Fox and tell Trump: We are not going to pay for that fucking wall.
— Vicente Fox Quesada (@VicenteFoxQue) January 25, 2017
Photo Credits: Flickr