President Biden has rescinded the emergency order used by former President Trump to justify construction of the border wall, the White House announced Thursday.
The Mexico-United States border spans 3,145 kilometers (1,945) miles. The border itself has proven very contentious recently, as talking points have included coyotes bringing people across the border (raised at the 2nd Presidential Debate), drugs coming across the border, and immigrants/asylum seekers using it as a pathway into America. Joe Biden’s own proclamation in regards to the border wall is that he will end construction on the border wall and redirect funds elsewhere. Joe Biden was quoted as saying “Like every Nation, the United States has a right and a duty to secure its borders and protect its people against threats”.
“Building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious policy solution. It’s a waste of money that diverts attention from genuine threats to our homeland security.”. Joe Biden and his administration have strongly denied any claims that they will tear down any of the existing border wall. America needs more than ever to step away from seeing the border wall as either a political slogan, a symbol or an opportunity to distance yourself from the previous administration. America badly needs to take a pragmatic approach to the border wall and do a serious cost and benefit check to its effectiveness.
According to Customs and Border Protection, 727 kilometers (452 miles) of wall had been built by January 2021. Providing a cost of the existing border wall and a projected cost of completing a wall across the entire border difficult. Different contractors will be used and there may be added expenses onto the quote. To give you an example, in April 2020, The Army Corps of Engineers announced that $569 million would be given to BFBC, an affiliate of Barnard Construction to build 27 kilometers (17 miles) of wall in El Centro and San Diego, California. This works out at just over $21 million dollars per kilometer. If you ask 10 different people how much the wall will cost, you are likely going to be met with 10 different answers, but there is no doubting that it is an expensive project.
It is important to look at the reasons why many people want a border wall and the benefits of it. The border is used to transport drugs from Mexico to America. The drugs that come into America go far beyond Marijuana, which many believe to be harmless. That is a discussion for another article. Methamphetamine, Cocaine, heroin and fentanyl all come through the southern border. In 2017, former Public Safety Secretary of Mexico Garcia alleged that $64 billion dollars of drugs pour into America from Mexico every year. Forbes did cite Garcia Luna as one of the Mexico’s most corrupt officials and noted his ties to some unsavory characters. Whilst this number may be inflated, there should be a massive concern about drugs coming into America. In 2019, 70,630 Americans died from overdoses. It should be noted that these deaths did include prescription drugs.
Ohio Senator Rob Portman strongly believes that most heroin in America comes from Mexico. The National Drug Threat Assessment of 2015 did back Portman’s findings, stating that the “black tar” version which originates from South East Asia is rarely found anymore. There is also a secondary issue with guns moving from America to Mexico. Mexicans do have the right to own a guy, but the process of buying a gun is extremely difficult. Therefore, guns that are acquired by US citizens with no criminal history are smuggled into Mexico. According to the US Justice Department, between 2006-2011, 94,000 weapons were seized from Mexican drug cartels. Joe Biden’s biggest challenge will be the human one.
In October 2019, US Customs and Border Protection declared that they were down 73% from where they were in May 2019. Donald Trump’s tough approach did render results.
Joe Biden and his administration have the added complications of the deadliest and 5th costliest storm season (National Hurricane Centre) for Central America and the coronavirus pandemic.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NBC NEWS