• Matt Berlin

To Wall or not to Wall

Photo: The San Diego Union Tribune

When it comes to the issue of a border wall, we will either find common ground or give up. It is important to come at the topic from an overall, birds-eye view. Our border is important not because it is a border, but because it protects all the freedoms that separate America from the rest of the world.

So why a wall? In many of the proposed forms, it would be virtually impassable in a stealthful manner. This helps to funnel the flow of immigrants to proper checkpoints where people can become honest American citizens.

A wall also financially benefits the US economy. The highest evaluations of what the wall will cost to build and maintain ($25 billion to build) is only a fraction of some of the what it costs to take care of illegal immigrants ($165 billion in welfare programs and unpaid taxes). Taking a small percentage of the problem to plug the hole for the foreseeable future is easily a good investment.

With the government shutdown over, it’s important to come into this situation with a strong logical foundation with room to reason. Yes, the individual matters and people deserve freedom, but to freely give freedom when it was not given freely only devalues it. The issue is not with the fact that people are entering, but how they are entering and why.

America and its economy is one of the most individually rewarding economies in the world. To allow anyone free access would immediately deflate the reward for all involved, as freedom can be used for evil purposes. Think of it this way, if everyone were allowed in, resources would be stretched even thinner than they are now making the opportunity less appealing.

This means that welfare would be even more pathetic for those who actually need it. Healthcare would be stretched thin and potentially less regulated, and national security at all levels would be less capable to protect one and their loved ones. We also would not know which individuals would be undocumented or not.

This sounds insignificant until you consider that not everyone wanting to enter the US is a friendly neighborhood immigrant.

When the United States began, the Constitution and Bill of Rights instantly became the be all end all for all functions of government.

Border security was as much an individual burden as it was a national burden, and people could see it. Communities were smaller, local economies more temperamental, and the concept of ownership much more present.

Before the days of federal taxation, one’s land, house, money, and crops were theirs. People supported themselves, as they pulled their own weight, or one would be left in the dust. This meant that the burden of a freeloader was far more visible and personal than it is now.

As the American economy grew, more and more hardworking people entered. Good things came to those who worked for it, and individuals knew that. With so many wanting to enter the growing land of opportunity, many freeloaders tagged along, seeing not the opportunity to work, but to take advantage.

There needed to be a way to sift these individuals from the masses. This new system came long after the days of localized border patrol, we needed a large organized force, the United States Border Patrol. The American people became more distanced from this organization, as it was obviously a national force.

As border security seemed less of a problem, people soon worried themselves with other issues, leaving the project of a stable border unfinished. Partial fences here, foot patrol there. Even vast stretches of the border are completely unrestricted today, leaving gaping holes for those looking for a way around the system.

This all crescendos into our current fiasco: billions of dollars given to those who are not willing to use proper channels. What this brings about is a moral dilemma. Do we trust that those who already violated the law will not do it again once they are in the U.S.? Because there is no perfect answer to this question, the best answer is to stem the tide until a better process can be instituted.

This better process is a secure border. Not a patrolled border, not a restricted border; a controlled barrier to entry. A wall has been a perfectly capable means of securing borders for millennia, and it is still a viable option now. It has ended the vast majority of conflict in Israel’s borders, giving them full control of everything inside of their walls.

They know who comes in and out because the only way in has been syphoned into checkpoints and gates. To think we are beyond that simple of a resolution is ridiculous. As a wise man once said, ‘if your ship is sinking, plug the hole and drain out the water.’ We need to secure the border with an unscalable boundary.

We also need to correct what we have now: millions of illegal immigrants freeloading off of the benefits of those who work for those same benefits.

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