Why is the US building a wall on the border with Mexico

Published on in category Geography
Why is the US building a wall on the border with Mexico

Donald Trump's presidency is specific to many contradictory absurd and divisive topics. One of these topics is the so-called Trump Wall, due to which even at the turn of 2018 and 2019 there was a record breaking 35 days of government shutdown. Why is the Trump Wall such a controversial topic, and why is the US building a wall between the United States and Mexico?

The beginnings of the wall date back to the very beginning of the 1990s, when the then President of the United States George H. W. Bush approved the construction of the first 14 miles of the wall between San Diego, USA, and Tijuana, Mexico.[1] During the presidency of Bill Clinton, a wall was built especially in the border towns of El Paso and San Diego.[2] Major construction did not come until 2009 under President George W. Bush, when the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan calmed down and the United States began to focus more on internal security. A total of 985 km of barriers were built in California and Texas.[3] The border between the United States and Mexico is 3,145 km long, of which 1,431 km is the Rio Grande River, which is a so-called natural barrier.[4]

Since the early 1990s, the United States has struggled with increasing migration of people from Mexico and from Central and South America in general. Migration also brings organized crime in the form of arms, drug and human smuggling, illegal migration of individuals and various acts of violence. The reason for this illegal activity is mainly the unequal distribution of wealth of both countries, the demand for cheap labor and the possibility of drug cartels to expand into a new market.[3]

The wall is one of the ways to suppress illegal migration. Today, there are more than 70 border walls around the world. However, the border walls are, from a whole point of view, quite ineffective in this issue and, in addition, carry with them a number of controversies.[5] The wall intersects three indigenous areas and some private lands, is responsible for the increased deaths of migrants climbing the wall or choosing a path across the desert, and is also causing significant disruption to the already fragile natural resources of many endangered plant and animal species.[1]

Trump's wall appeared on the scene during the election rallies in 2015. Trump outlined the intention to build a solid wall along the entire length of the border with Mexico and let Mexico pay for it under the threat of economic sanctions. However, this project has so many pitfalls that its implementation is practically impossible. Mexico has refused to fund the wall, so the US would have to find its own resources, for which there is a lack of sufficient political support. Furthermore, on less than a third of the border, a barrier exists from construction under President Bush. The rest of the border is then represented by natural obstacles such as rivers, mountains and deserts, where the potential construction of the wall would be extremely difficult both physically and financially, and most importantly unnecessary and devastating.[3]

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