Under President Obama illegal immigration, drug overdoses and human trafficking arrests were all record highs during 2016, his last year in office. Trump has argued that the wall will not only curtail illegal immigration but also stop the flow of illegal drugs and human trafficking.
*UPDATE: Sections of Trump's wall breaks ground in both New Mexico and San Diego. The new walls will be anywhere from 18-30 feet high depending on terrain and will include anti climbing plates. Some of the new wall will be replacing existing 10 foot high scrap metal.
Trump imposed harsh tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Mexico and also announced a new trade deal with Mexico, replacing NAFTA. Both moves significantly decreases the US trade debt with Mexico essentially paying for the wall "in one way or another" as he had always promised.
1/25/17: President Trump keeps his word on arguably his biggest campaign mantra. He signed an executive order to begin building the mexico wall "within months’ and reiterated that Mexico WILL pay for it. How will Mexico most likely pay for the wall? With a few adjustments in America's trade deals with Mexico the current $60 billion debt owed to Mexico can be decreased which in turn can be allocated to pay for the wall. Here are the top reasons supporting the southern border wall:
1: Every country has a right to defend itself as a sovereign nation. That goes for America too which welcomes immigrants with open arms as long as they come legally.
2: America already has nearly 700 Miles of existing fencing. Much of it built during Barack Obama's presidency, as part of the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which was signed by George W. Bush. And it works. There was a sharp decline in illegal immigration in areas where the fencing was put up.
3: About 1 million immigrants are currently accepted ino America every year legally by following the lawful process. So why is it fair or acceptable for illegal immigrants to ignore American laws and jump the line ahead of legal immigrants?
4: Ironically under the Mexican law illegal immigration is a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison. Immigrants who are deported and attempt to re-enter can be imprisoned for 10 years. Visa violators can be sentenced to six-year terms. The wall is the answer to America's lack of enforcing it's immigration laws as strongly as Mexico does.
5: There are many countries that have a border wall, including Mexico's southern border wall. Including Paris who recently started building a wall around Eiffel Tower. So why shouldn't America have a wall?
6: Drug overdose deaths reached all-time high in 2015 in America. Many of those deaths caused by heroin. And most of the illicit drugs come into the United States across the vast 2,000-mile land border between the US and Mexico, called the Southwestern border or SWB. Having a wall would certainly at the very least slow the flow of drugs coming across the southern border.
7: As Trump pointed out (although not explaining it correctly) in his Presidency announcement speech, a staggering 80% of Central American girls and women crossing Mexico en route to the United States are raped along the way, according to directors of migrant shelters interviewed by Fusion. Having a wall will deter many of these women from taking that dangerous trek of possiblye being raped by criminal gangs and people traffickers.
8: Nearly one-quarter (23%) of all federal inmates are illegal immigrants. There will be a certain drop in this number once the wall is built.
9: Mexico will benefit. How? The wall on the American southern border will deter illegal immigrants from Latin American countries entering into Mexico on their way to the American southern border.
10: Supporters of illegal immigration argue that most come to America (although illegally) searching for a better life. This may be true. And if so, the question then is.... how many illegal immigrants should America let in? Well, nearly 1/2 of the world's population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. Obviously America (population of about 320 million) logistically and economically, could not support such a drastic increase in population. So how many is enough? Where would the line be drawn? And if a line is drawn, who's to say that line was the the acceptable amount of illegal immigrants allowed?
14: Illegal immigration hurts the job market by allowing millions of low skilled workers to take American jobs. The influx of a large number of immigrants who compete for work will no doubt drive down the pay for competing workers. It’s Economics 101: an increase of supply (labor) drives down the price (wages). Stopping the flow of illegal immigration will force the job market to pay higher wages to American workers.
15: Perhaps the most hypocritical fact of all is that as of 3/191/7, approximately 30 countrieswere refusing to accept the U.S. deportations of illegal immigrants who have committed serious crimes.
8/5/17: The Department Of Homeland Security announced it would use its power to go around environmental and other laws to help expedite construction in the San Diego area.
10/6/17: The House Homeland Security Committee approved a border security bill that includes $10 billion for a border wall. The Border Security for America Act, proposed by committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), was passed on a party-line 18-12 vote.
2/20/18: The federal government began work to replace a section of border wall in California, the first wall contract awarded in the Trump administration outside of eight prototypes that were built last year in San Diego.
5/31/18: Trump imposed harsh tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Mexico, a move that decreases the US trade debt with Mexico essentially paying for the wall "in one way or another" as he had always promised.
6/2/18: Construction started on the US-Mexico border wall project at Border Field State Park. The work will replace about 14 miles of scrap metal wall that stands up to 10 feet high with a wall between 18 and 30 feet tall. The new wall will also have an anti-climbing plate.
6/15/18: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced a "strengthened" Northern Border Strategy that it claims will help "combat terrorism" and "help facilitate travel and trade" at its border with Canada.
Existing vehicle barrier, left, and new wall construction, right,in New Mexico.