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Should the U.S. Government Force Mexico Pay for the Proposed Border Wall?
During the campaigns for the just-concluded U.S. presidential elections, President Donald Trump made it clear that he was going to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border to curb the problem of illegal immigration. In Trump's view, the wall would control the movement of immigrants from Mexico into the United States. Since then, people have asked a lot of questions about the relevance of the idea and its practicality. President Trump did not stop at suggesting that he would sign an executive order to pave the way for the building of the wall. He went on to claim that the U.S. was going to force Mexico to pay for the wall. With Trump currently occupying the White House, the fundamental question remains whether Mexico should be compelled to take up the cost of the massive structure at the U.S.-Mexican border (Warren 6). I believe that Mexico should bear the burden of constructing the wall since Mexicans account for the greatest number of illegal residents in the U.S. and contribute to the increasing crime rate in the country.
The first reason why I agree with President Trump that Mexico should pay for the proposed wall is because the county accounts for the largest number of illegal immigrants in the United States of America. Over the years, Mexicans have constituted the largest minority group in the U.S. According to Cabot, Mexico had the second highest number of asylum seekers in the world behind China in 2014 (364). As a resident of the United States, I have also interacted with several illegal immigrants from Mexico. Even though the numbers have gone down in the recent years, Mexico still accounts for the highest number of undocumented people in various states. In 2014, for instance, approximately 6 million illegal immigrants of Mexican descent lived in the U.S. It is also worth noting that the number of undocumented people from Mexico has declined in some states and increased in others since 2010 (Warren 8). In my view, these figures show that illegal immigration is an issue that the country must address since available facts show that Mexico creates a great challenge that the U.S. should address. If the U.S. does not execute the proposed wall plan, the number of illegal immigrants in Mexico will remain very high.
Secondly, I agree that Mexico should also bear the most significant burden in the building of the border wall since its citizens contribute to the increasing crime rate in the United States significantly. In the 1980s, the U.S. witnessed an increase in crime rate as the population of illegal Mexican immigrants quadrupled in the nation (Chalfin 220). Previous studies suggest that illegal immigration influences the rate of crime in various American cities (Cabot 361). Other studies have found out that immigration leads to increased cases of aggravated assaults, robbery, and burglary in the country (Chalfin 220). In my view, a possible explanation for this worrying trend is the lack of employment. Not all illegal immigrants find jobs when they come to the United States, and as a result, some of them engage in criminal activities such as human trafficking identity theft and drug trade. These patterns of criminal behavior make U.S. cities less secure.
While the reasons mentioned above give the U.S. grounds to force Mexico to pay for the proposed border wall, critics may argue that not all Mexicans are criminals and that Mexico is not the only country whose citizens move to the United States illegally. According to Warren, illegal immigrants in the US come from many countries around the world, with South America contributing the highest number (8). I personally know immigrants from Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, and Peru. Although Mexico often tops the list, it is also important to remember that the population of illegal residents and workers from Mexico has decreased since 2010 (Warren 10). Other studies have also shown that Mexicans are not solely responsible for the increase in crime rates in the US. Since Mexico is not the only contributor to the illegal immigration problem or the sole cause of increasing cases of crimes in the U.S., one may argue that it should not pay the ultimate price by bearing the cost of the wall. Although these concerns are worth looking at when addressing the issue of the wall, Mexicans continue looking for new ways to enter U.S. illegally where some of them engage in illegal practices and activities such as violent crime. In North Carolina, for example, the Drug Enforcement Administration reported an increase in drug trafficking activities as a result of an influx of Spanish-speaking migrants, specifically those from Mexico (National Drug Intelligence Center 9). The report further noted that Mexican criminals are the dominant distributors of cocaine in North Carolina (National Drug Intelligence Center 9). In my view, these facts show that Mexico contributes to the rising crime rates in the U.S.
The illegal entry of Mexicans into the U.S. has always elicited mixed reactions and pitted the U.S. government against Mexico. Recently, President Trump declared that Mexico would pay for the building of a border wall to address the issue of illegal migration. Although one can argue that Mexicans are not the only people who live in the country illegally, it is important to note that Mexico has the largest number of illegal immigrants to the U.S. and indirectly contributes to the increasing crime rates. I believe that Trump’s call to force Mexico pay for the border wall is reasonable and practical. The process entails adjusting border taxation laws to enable the U.S. to collect funds by high taxes on goods and commodities coming from Mexico. Through such border adjustments, the United States will be able to raise billions of dollars in tax revenue from Mexican traders and use it to construct the proposed wall.
Cabot, Anna. "Problems Faced by Mexican Asylum Seekers in the United States.” JMHS, vol. 2, no. 4, 2014, pp. 361-377, http://jmhs.cmsny.org/index.php/jmhs/article/download/40/33. Accessed 23 Feb. 2017.
Chalfin, Aaron. "The Long-Run Effect of Mexican Immigration on Crime in US Cities: Evidence from Variation in Mexican Fertility Rates." American Economic Review, vol. 105, no. 5, 2015, pp. 220-25, http://achalfin.weebly.com/uploads/8/5/4/8/8548116/chalfin_birthscrime.pdf. Accessed 23 Feb. 2017.
Chalfin, Aaron. “What is the Contribution of Mexican Immigration to U.S. Crime Rates? Evidence from Rainfall Shocks in Mexico. Am Law Econ Rev, vol. 16, no. 1, 2014, pp. 220-268, https://academic.oup.com/aler/article/16/1/220/135207/What-is-the- Contribution-of-Mexican-Immigration-to. Accessed 23 Feb. 2017.National Drug
Intelligence Center. North Carolina Drug Threat Assessment. US Department of Justice, 2003, https://www.justice.gov/archive/ndic/pubs3/3690/3690p.pdf. Accessed 28 Feb 2017.
Warren, Robert. “US Undocumented Population Drops Below 11 Million in 2014, with Continued Declines in the Mexican Undocumented Population.” JMHS, vol. 4, no. 1, 2016, pp. 1-15, http://jmhs.cmsny.org/index.php/jmhs/article/download/58/47. Accessed 23 Feb. 2017.