While Trump’s solutions may help ease some of our immigration problems, deeper and more complex immigration reform is still greatly needed.
Immigration is a hot topic throughout the entirety of the United States. Everyone seems to have an opinion on it and a very strong one at that. Trump thinks we should build a wall while democrats want a form of amnesty for undocumented immigrants. Both of these ideas are widely opposed and both of them will never work in practice. The United States needs deep and complex immigration reform that will appeal to all Americans.
During the Trump campaign, his constituents were promised a wall and his current policies put up to eight million people at risk of deportation. The alt-rights wet dream, but not exactly the solution we need. The cost alone should be enough to turn most people off of this idea. A border wall is estimated to cost at least twelve billion dollars just to build while deporting eight million people will run upwards of a hundred billion dollars.
Even if money wasn’t an issue there’s still flaws with these solutions. A wall will definitely stop some immigrants, but not all. Tunnels used to smuggle contraband into the U.S. by drug cartels are found all too often. What’s to stop cartels from repurposing these tunnels from drug smuggling to sneaking immigrants into the United States? A wall can also be averted in other ways, whether it be by something as simple as using a ladder to get over it or by destroying it. The wall will be seen as nothing more than a minor inconvenience to a migrant set on reaching the United States.
Similarly, deporting eight million, completely disregarding the fiscal cost, isn’t much of a solution. Believe it or not immigrants have to work to support themselves. Immediate and sudden deportation of eight million people will leave huge gaps in the blue collar workforce. Industries such as construction and agriculture will be short of labor for an unpredictable amount of time, causing these fields to take major financial blows. For example, in some states as many as four in ten farm workers are undocumented. A farm losing 40% of its workforce will result in significantly lower crop yields and lower profit.
Needless to say, a lot of the lefts solutions will not fare well in the United States. Amnesty is a much more expensive option than building a wall and mass deportations put together, costing the United States up to 6.3 trillion dollars. To put that number into perspective, the current debt that the United States owes is 19.9 trillion dollars, triple the cost of amnesty. Increasing the national debt by 33% is not a viable option especially with today’s volatile economy.
The United States also needs to make sure the immigrants it is taking in are productive members of society. With roughly 1 in 3 people in the U.S. already using some form of public assistance we cannot afford to give much more out. Migrants entering the United States need to be able to sustain themselves and their families.
Nonetheless, we need to find a way to compromise and make an immigration plan that works. Instead of building a wall, let’s use technology to monitor the border and better allocate border patrol resources. Instead of deporting eight million immigrants, let’s only deport immigrants who have committed felonies. Instead of amnesty for all, let’s create a clear pathway to citizenship that is funded by that individual and not the U.S. tax payer. And most importantly: Instead of constantly arguing, let’s come together as Americans and solve this problem once and for all.