If You Build It, They Won’t Come

The administration wasted no time taking its first steps to build the “big, beautiful wall” President Trump promised the American people. Last Friday, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection asked for bids to construct the border wall (one concrete and the other using different materials.) Under the timeline set forth in the proposal, those interested will have two weeks to submit their designs and models should follow soon thereafter.

The U.S.-Mexico border wall, according to the CBP, must be an imposing physical barrier. Department of Homeland Security expects the wall to be: not climbable; able to repel a sledgehammer, pick axe, or other hand-held tools for a minimum of 30 minutes for the non-concrete wall and an hour for the concrete version. Finally, the wall must not be easily tunneled under, making it as impenetrable as humanly possible

No matter who becomes president in the future, the border wall will ensure that uninvited and unwelcome individuals do not gain entry into the United States. Regardless of policy shifts, the wall cannot and will not be asked not to turn a blind eye to illegal border crossers like many Border Patrol agents were pressured to do during the Obama administration. Further, an imposing physical barrier allows Border Patrol agents to pay more attention to drug cartels and those who pose national security threats.

Even before the first block of concrete is poured, President Trump’s executive order has already had a positive impact on the border. Illegal border crossing decreased in February by 40 percent, with February 2017 having the fewest February crossings in a decade. People like taking the path of least resistance, and soon, illegally entering the U.S. by jumping the border will no longer be an option.

Despite Congress not yet appropriating a dime, the administration is moving swiftly and decisively to regain control of the borders. In the budget blueprint that President Trump sent to Congress last week, the administration requested $2.6 billion for the border wall in fiscal year 2018. It also requested another $3 billion in its supplemental 2017 funding request to secure our nation.

Predictably, immigration activists blasted the funding for the wall – threatening to shut down the government if the money was included in any of the 2017 spending bills. Pandering to them, Republicans who have control over the wall are stalling in order to avoid a funding standoff that could shut down the government.

Perhaps those Republicans who are holding up the process need to be reminded of the cost savings to American taxpayers. Building the wall across the entire southwest border is expected to cost about $15-$30 billion. Even if the cost of the wall exceeded those levels, it would quickly pay for itself. A cost study conducted by the Federation for American Immigration Reform found illegal aliens cost American taxpayers $113 billion every year.

About Author


Shari Rendall brings to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) over 15 years of experience in government relations and grassroots advocacy. In her former position, Shari led the legislation department in coordinating lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill and briefing congressional and administration staff on a wide range of issues. She has also been responsible for grassroots communications and helping state associations devise their legislative strategies. She began her time in D.C. working on Capitol Hill in the office of former Sen. Bob Smith (R-New Hampshire) as a Legislative Aide.


  1. avatar

    March 25, 2017
    Press Release For Immediate Release
    New Border Rail Port Improves Logistics by being strategically positioned in the center of the Southern California border with Mexico…
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    Our mission is to:
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    • Reduce overall costs of logistics by switching from truck to rail where acceptable
    • Create quantified carbon footprint reduction tons per year, in compliance with California’s executive order of cutting greenhouse gas emissions in California to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, by removing long haul trucks from our congested interstates
    We can provide the following services:

    • Rail served private property available for Industrial Development of Medium, Light and Heavy Industrial
    • Transfer from Truck and or Rail
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    • Rail logistics services
    • Dray trucking services DOT Carrier/Shipper/Broker
    • US and Mexican border team specialists to assist
    • Foreign Trade Zone Operator

    We are motivated to work and assist the Bi-National border business.

    We have strategic rail served properties which are served by the Union Pacific Railroad. One property is off the MTS/SDIV line that is only 4 miles from the Southern California Border. These strategic locations are Rail served-entitled with plenty of water and flat ground for rail interchange and container depot yards, as well as receiving materials to transfer-warehouse and dray into Mexico. Included are private properties available for Industrial Development of Medium, Light and Heavy Industrial. See below overview of our locations and projects.

    Mike Ortega, our Industrial Development Manager, has 41 years of experience in the rail industry, he joined Imperial Railport to lead our marketing team. He has served as Director of Rail Industrial Development for the Western United States for RailAmerica, and ATSF Railway. Mike’s experience and knowledge gives us and Union Pacific Railroad an advantage in dealing with the potential vendor/customers in the region. He has abundant regional and rail knowledge from being at the end of BNSF.
    Mike can be reached by email at [email protected] and by phone at (254) 304-5135.

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    Thank you for working together with us to build our Bi-National relations with our neighbors to the South…

    [email protected]
    More information available at http://www.imperialrailport.com

  2. avatar


    Should the USA spend $15 Billion to build a concrete wall
    2,000 miles long separating Mexico from the USA?

    What would be achieved?
    Might there be better ways to reach the same goals?

    Many parts of this border already have walls and fences.
    And they do prevent people from just walking
    into the USA from those parts of Mexico.

    Also physical barriers do prevent
    large shipments of drugs from coming into America.

    The Border Patrol can suggest places
    where the current fences and walls should be improved.
    But a Great Wall all along the 2,000 mile border
    is a CARTOON SOLUTION to a very serious problem.

    Here we will focus on unauthorized immigration.

    If a Great Wall is created,
    how many people who want to emigrate to America
    will be prevented for the rest of their lives?

    My first estimate would be: ZERO.

    Even after a new Great Wall is in place,
    given human inventiveness,
    determined immigrants will find a way
    around, over, under, or thru the Great Wall.

    People-smugglers make a good living
    sneaking unauthorized immigrants into the USA.
    When collecting their large fees (in cash),
    they promise to try three times to get
    their customers into America.

    Any new Great Wall will only be a new factor
    to be taken into account when helping
    unauthorized immigrants to find their ways into the USA.

    And any new walls or fences would do nothing
    about those who have visas or other permission to enter
    by car, train, bus, boat, or airplane.
    Perhaps as much as 40% of the unauthorized population
    once had a valid visas to visit the USA.
    They just stayed indefinitely without reporting themselves.


    Under current law in the USA,
    all workers must be either American citizens
    or registered foreign nationals.

    Most of the registered foreign nationals have GREEN CARDS,
    which show that they are lawful permanent residents (LPR)
    of the United States.

    Green cards are good for 10 years,
    plus a two-year grace period.

    But, of course, because these a simple plastic cards,
    there are MILLIONS of fake green cards in use.

    Perhaps MOST of the unauthorized foreign nationals
    have fake green cards to show their employers.

    This problem would be solved by replacing all green cards
    with a very safe electronic work-authorization program.
    Then, instead of examining questionable cards,
    the employer would turn on the nearest computer
    with Internet access to check to see
    if applicant is really in the national data-base
    of foreign nationals registered to live and work in the USA.

    Once this new system is in full operation,
    millions of unauthorized foreign nationals
    would voluntarily RETURN to their countries of origin
    because they know they have been using
    fake green cards to get jobs in the USA.

    The cost of replacing all green cards with
    this electronic record would be about $100 per person.
    Since there are about 25 million foreign nationals
    now settled in the United States,
    this total cost would be about $2.5 Billion.
    Note that this is much less than the cost of the Great Wall.

    And it would be much more effective:
    Literally millions of foreign nationals
    because they could no longer find
    legitimate employment in the USA.

    And uncounted millions of do-it-yourself immigrants
    would be DETERRED from coming to the USA.
    Without official authorization to work,
    they would not even attempt to enter.

    And those foreign nationals
    who now have genuine green cards
    would be able to continue to live and work in America
    because their pictures, names, and addresses
    are listed in the new electronic data-base replacing green cards.
    This Internet list would be a better way than ever
    to prove that they are Lawful Permanent Residents.

    Read more about a new system of work-authorization:

  3. avatar

    Despite whatever the naysayers have to say, that “big, beautiful wall” is going up and it will deter illegals big-time. It will free up border patrol to focus on drug cartels and probably will have to beef up patrols of coastal access on the west coast and Texas gulf.
    This will make a yuuge impact on the country for years…for the better. Crime will decrease, healthcare costs will decrease, property values will rise steadily, schools and hospitals won’t be burdened and maybe these 3rd world countries should stop focusing on how to get their people over here without being vetted and focus instead on bettering conditions so their citizens will stay and take pride in their homeland.

  4. avatar

    The easiest way to deal with the “wall” is to make sure that there are a sufficient number of anti-personnel mines between the fences. But that’s not likely to happen even if they were clearly on US soil.) Or, if only one fence, it is wired to detonate a section sufficiently strongly enough to kill anyone within a 25 yard distance facing in both directions should anyone try to hammer, chisel, etc, through it.) (The “north” side explosion would prevent people from opening up a section for illegal passage which would only be done illegally anyway.) IF proper research went into it, the steel rebars holding the concrete and giving it strength would remain unaffected. In short, the concrete would act like shrapnel while the steel would retain it’s structural integrity.
    Might not stop all of them, but one thing would be rather certain: many of them would not be making the attempt twice.

  5. avatar

    Plain and simple, people who don’t want a wall say it won’t work. The people who know, the Border Patrol, say it is a big help to them because with an otherwise open border most illegals dash across and are a couple miles into the country before they can even get there. It’s a total bunch of baloney about 31 foot ladders on a 30 foot wall. First of all, to prop it against the wall and not have to climb straight up it has to be about 40 feet to be safe. And if you make the top a surface that cannot easily be sat on, you have made it harder still. Plus once at the top you have to haul your very large ladder up and get it over the other side without dropping it. All this is taking lots of time.

    People get over the White House fence all the time. I don’t hear one person saying take it down. That’s because it slows intruders down enough to be caught. I saw someone make a very good comment. We build sound walls along freeways all over this country. Most of them are fairly high and we somehow manage to pay for them.

      • avatar

        I’m sure everyone will notice that you did not deal with a single issue I pointed out. The Border Patrol says exactly what I said. A wall or fence slows illegals down so if they do attempt to go over, the agents have a much better chance to get there. There have been a couple people who got over the White House fence in the last week. Is there anyone saying there’s no reason to have a fence there?

        Years ago Israel had hundreds of people killed and injured because suicide bombers were crossing over from Palestinian areas and hitting buses and restaurants. Israel built a tall concrete wall and it stopped. Obviously you don’t want a wall but you cannot say they don’t work.

    • avatar

      According to the media, illegals are as dumb as they are. And of course they are not. If people think they are not going to be able to gain access to the country or will be deported immediately then they are not going to make a trek through the desert or pay thousands to a smuggler.

      And if there is any more dishonest major media than NBC I do not know which one it is. {CNN?} On NBC Nightly News this evening Lester Holt breathlessly announces that the postponing today of a vote for Obamacare replacement was leaving the healthcare of millions of Americans “hanging in the balance”.

      Except if you think about it for half a second, it still leaves Obamacare in place and unchanged until something is passed to replace it. Just another fake news cheap shot to make it look like Trump is leaving people uninsured. But the problem with Obamacare is that in many cases it’s worse than no insurance. People are forced to pay premiums of seven and eight hundred dollars a month and cannot make a claim until they reach a deductible of six thousand or more.

      • avatar

        sock = shock…in addition like he said The People knew it….but we know they did not….