Donald Trump’s campaign pledge to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico to keep out immigrants and “bad hombres” has all the earmarks of an expensive ego trip resulting in increased taxes and fees, decrease of domestic programs or a combination of both.
Cost estimates for the wall run between $12 billion and $15 billion and we all know how construction projects can easily overrun those estimates. In addition, these figures do not include securing property rights to locate the wall, maintenance costs (estimated at $750 million per year) and additional personnel, infrastructure and equipment to maintain operations. Getting Mexico to pay for all of this is ludicrous; would you pay your neighbor to build a fence to keep out your dog?
Would a wall really keep out determined people to escape conditions in their homeland? Existing walls (in some cases more like fences) in populated areas have not stopped drug runners and coyotes (people smugglers) from tunneling under. Trump’s proposal would include the entire U.S.-Mexican border, the majority being isolated areas difficult and expensive to patrol and monitor.
The intangibles of such a wall include the implied arrogance of the presence of a physical barrier between nations of supposedly good will and how this conceit is viewed by others.
Well, I guess, this arrogance sums up the man himself.
Chuck Fisher, State College