President Trump has taken jaw-dropping steps to try to "build his wall." Discounting his commitment to override the majority votes likely by the Congress in both the Senate and House to defeat this move, let's look at the facts.
1. "Hordes of illegal immigrants are coming across the Southern border, and a wall is the best and an essential way to stop them."
At least 65% of all illegal immigrants in the country were admitted legally and have overstayed their visas.
Most visitors to the US admitted legally through airports and seaports depart before their admissions expired in 2016, but even with 98.5% doing it legally, the 1.5% who did not equate to 740,000 illegal visitors for that one year. Some of the "overstays" are short term, and the people did leave eventually, but the majority were long-term problems.
All in all, nearly 630,000 immigrants were still in the US at the end of 2016, a persistent "overstay rate" of 1.25%. Student visas and exchange visitors were the worst violators. The percentages seem small, but with 54 million visitors a year, this equates to a large number of immigrants who are not here legally yearly. These illegal "overstays easily top the number of people who sneak in across the border. In the worst crime committed against this country, the 911 disaster, five of the hijackers were overstays. None had snuck into the country illegally.
These data are from the US Immigration Services and The Washington Examiner (a conservative newspaper).
2. "Most illegal drugs come though unguarded sections of the Southern border. A wall will stop them."
Nearly two-thirds of illegal drugs come in through ports of entry ... land and sea portals. Meth, cocaine, and heroin usually are smuggled in though legal ports of entry in sophisticated methods by cartels. These are not impacted by walls, although the largest amounts of drugs seized by agents in between ports of entry were marijuana, which is cheaper. Last year, for example, US Agents seized 439,000 pounds of marijuana between ports of entry, while they discovered and seized 283,000 pounds hidden at legal border crossings.
A new book by Don Winslow claims that "Ninety percent plus of drugs come in through open portal gates. In addition, the primary cause of the drugs flowing into this country is the demand within the USA. Efforts to deal with this root cause are desperately needed.
3. A border wall is needed to secure our security and sovereignty.
The main driving force of immigration now is from discord and violence in other countries .. mainly in Central America ... due to chaos and violence in the home countries of the travelers. Building new sections of the wall do not address any of these driving factors.
Any logical policy on the immigration issue needs to deal with the reasons why poor, honest, and desperate families travel thousands of miles to try for a better life. Most would rather stay with their cultures, language, and loved ones than take such a gamble. Again, a wall does not address at all the root causes that drive them to seek to come here.
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