President Trump tweets about “the Wall” a lot. In fact, he’s been tweeting about the border wall since even before he took office. He is nothing if not consistent, clinging to the same themes and bits of misinformation in order to garner support for his central campaign promise: “Build the wall!” Time and again, though, experts have debunked his claims about what a border wall can do for homeland security.
Let’s look to five recent Trump tweets in order to understand what supporters of the wall have wrong:
Organized Crime Will Increase
There are now 77 major or significant Walls built around the world, with 45 countries planning or building Walls. Over 800 miles of Walls have been built in Europe since only 2015. They have all been recognized as close to 100% successful. Stop the crime at our Southern Border!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 16, 2019
President Trump in praise of European Border walls on January 16th.
Not only will a border wall not stop crime at the border, they in fact have historically increased organized crime there. “Every time you have a border fence and no public policy that is dealing with the root problem, it is as if you were inviting organized crime to the table,” an expert explained to the New York Times this week. She also was unable to recall any historical examples of walls that ultimately could be considered “successful.”
One human smuggler named Flaco shared candidly that over three decades ago he would show migrants to a hole in the border fence for a tip of 50 cents, before the U.S. government began to crack down on security at the border. Now, due to the increased difficulty of border crossings, migrants are expected to pay thousands of dollars to smugglers who funnel most of that money to drug cartels.
Migrants Will Face More Dangers
Any deaths of children or others at the Border are strictly the fault of the Democrats and their pathetic immigration policies that allow people to make the long trek thinking they can enter our country illegally. They can’t. If we had a Wall, they wouldn’t even try! The two…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2018
President Trump on December 29th, shortly after the second death of a migrant child in less than a month.
Trump blames Democrats for deadly immigration policies, under the pretense that tougher border security will discourage any flow of migrants to seek refuge in the United States. However, relative to untenable living conditions in their home countries, many migrants with families feel that the dangerous trek north is still worth the risk. That should be a testament to crises they face at home.
Jennifer Podkul, the director of policy for Kids in Need of Defense, refutes Trump’s assertion that The Wall will save lives. She explained to the Huffington Post that walls don’t deter refugees who are already fleeing for their lives. “If someone thinks they are not going to live if they stay in their country of origin, they will go and try to find safety somewhere else.” Instead, walls put many more lives at risk. According to statistics cited by the Cato Institute, the number of annual migrant deaths tripled between 1993 and 2012 after more walls were erected along the border. Over the past two decades or so, that has amounted to almost 3,000 migrant deaths in southern Arizona alone.
The Wall Doesn’t Address Tunnels
…The Steel Barrier, or Wall, should have been built by previous administrations long ago. They never got it done – I will. Without it, our Country cannot be safe. Criminals, Gangs, Human Traffickers, Drugs & so much other big trouble can easily pour in. It can be stopped cold!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2019
President Trump on January 11th, with the understanding that he will be the first president to erect a wall that repels crime.
Unfortunately, when walls go high, criminals go low. For years now, people have been digging tunnels that allow them to circumvent the border; nearly two hundred of them have been discovered by federal agents over the past 25 years. El Chapo’s Sinaloa, Mexico’s most powerful cartel, has been constructing the “best” tunnels around. These super-tunnels cost millions of dollars to dig and outfit with lights, ventilation, and even elevators.
Note: As for the toll that drugs take on American citizens, the stats show that more people are killed by prescription drug overdoses — often, drugs laced with deadly fentanyl that are arriving from China, not Central America, so drugs will not be “stopped cold” by a wall.
Construction is Wildly Expensive for Americans
Mexico is paying (indirectly) for the Wall through the new USMCA, the replacement for NAFTA! Far more money coming to the U.S. Because of the tremendous dangers at the Border, including large scale criminal and drug inflow, the United States Military will build the Wall!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2018
President Trump on December 19th, 2018, one of dozens of tweets about Mexico “paying for the wall.”
His latest tweets insist that the United States Mexico Canada Agreement will produce enough revenue through tariffs. There’s no saying how much “revenue” will be raised through tariffs, as the agreement hasn’t even been ratified yet. Further, Mexico still won’t be paying for the wall that way; the American consumers will. “If you are collecting more revenues, it’s because you’re making your own consumers pay more for something that they were paying less for before,” explained an economist in an interview with NPR.
The Wall Doesn’t Treat the Root Cause
A big new Caravan is heading up to our Southern Border from Honduras. Tell Nancy and Chuck that a drone flying around will not stop them. Only a Wall will work. Only a Wall, or Steel Barrier, will keep our Country safe! Stop playing political games and end the Shutdown!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 15, 2019
President Trump on January 15th, who has taken to referring to border security as a humanitarian crisis.
As long as people south of the U.S. border are fleeing life-threatening conditions in their home countries, caravans will continue to seek asylum, wall or not. The wall will never address a humanitarian crisis at the border if it does not address the humanitarian crises in places like Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
“Addressing these root causes — promoting government stability, promoting economic development, working to eliminate discrimination — all of these are very long-term projects,” explained John Cerone, Tufts professor of international law. He pointed out that the best way to curb illegal immigration is to expand legal routes of migration. This will allow the United States “to deal with the very real need to accommodate people who need to flee now.”