Case Study: All of this Fuss Over a Border Wall, but Would It Even Work?



President Trump’s very public oval office push to secure $5 billion in funds for the border wall—and the Democratic leaders’ public refusal to go along with the idea—leaves many wondering if we might see an end of the year government shutdown over mass, illegal uncontrolled immigration.

But if President Trump is successful in securing the $5 billion in funding for the wall and the wall is built, will it actually work to deter illegal immigration? The answer is an unambiguous Yes! If there’s any doubt, one need look no further than the San Diego sector of the U.S.–Mexico border.

Three decades ago, I stood on a small hill less than 100 yards away from the border south of San Diego with Alan Nelson, the former Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS, today’s Customs and Border Protection) who came to work with FAIR as a consultant after leaving INS. I watched the former commissioner shake his head in disgust as dozens and dozens of illegal aliens ran past us, making their way into the U.S. in broad daylight.

In those days, the San Diego sector was ground zero for illegal immigration. Despite that fact, the only thing separating the U.S. from our neighbor to the south was an old chain link fence that had been smashed to the ground, trampled by hundreds of thousands of pairs of feet as they stormed into the U.S. I can very clearly remember looking at the commissioner and commenting, “God help us if any of these folks are terrorists.”

Fast forward to just a few weeks ago, as I stood in virtually the same spot in the San Diego sector, having been dispatched by FAIR with a media response team to report first hand on the arrival of the 7,000 strong illegal alien caravan from Central America, which had slowly trickled into Tijuana and set up camp just on the other side of the border.

But instead of facing an old broken down chain link fence, the would-be illegal aliens faced a border wall, which had been built piece meal over the years by the Border Patrol with the public support of the congressional delegation from Southern California and other elected officials who wanted to stop illegal immigration. At that moment I saw for myself that if it wasn’t for that border wall—and the ubiquitous presence of the men and women of the Border Patrol—that the caravan would not have stopped in its tracks in Tijuana, but would instead be well within the U.S.

The border wall, although it only extends a few miles inland, has all but stopped what would have been a mass, uncontrollable dash into the U.S. by 7,000 people intent on entering our nation at any cost. The wall has instilled a sense of order into what would have otherwise been full-blown chaos.

Clearly, the border wall won’t stop all illegal immigration, but it certainly serves as an enormous physical deterrent to those who want to enter illegally, while also protecting the lives of the Border Patrol agents who guard it. The importance of that wall in controlling illegal immigration is so central that it’s impossible to think of ever gaining a handle on illegal immigration without one.

And that’s why Congress should work with the president to secure its funding and get it built.

About Author

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Dave rejoined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016 and brings more than thirty years of proactive communications experience working with non-profits, trade associations and the private sector. Dave has written and placed op-eds in more than 100 publications for national and state leaders in fields ranging from immigration to agriculture policy, food and energy. Ray has served as a chief spokesman for several national organizations and has extensive radio and television experience as well.

12 Comments

  1. avatar

    The wall will not work because USA is very weak and dsoft. Usa doesnt dare to give hard penalty to invaders. If USA laws were harder, if they ordered every illegal in USA is subject to death penalty (considering him or her as invader or enemy) and all authorites in USA are enabled to iarrest and interrogate every citizen in any part of USA, in less than one month all illegals would be out of USA. The wall is not necessary., only hard laws. Why doesnt Americans or Germans or COlombian, NIgerians, etc, enter North Korea without permission of government? Because they know if they are captured, they will be killed or at least will spend hard years in jail. And the jail is a hell. SO Just copy the laws of North Korea and USA will get rid of all illegals and caravans . But this wont be done because USA is very coward.. Now every people in all other countries know they can enter USA by force, or telling lies. They know USA authorities are cowards and will not punish them. MiIlions of Africans and others will go to USA very soon, if USA does not use military power , bullets, or hard laws to stop them.

    • avatar

      USA is not weak. We have been supporting other countries people for so long that now we are tired of paying for them to live in fancy homes and driving fancy cars. Not to say anything about the gangs or the drugs being brought into our country. I’m not against helping others but come into our country the right way. Become a Y S citizen. Enter right and you can stay. You sir, sound like you think we can not stand up to these people, we can and we will. We need to put every member of congress and anyone else on the front lines and see how fast they give the money up to build the wall. Because they can’t have a gun, only homeland security and the border patrol and our military can. We will become great again if people would only leave President Trump alone and give him what he needs to bring the Amercians bach to greatness. Congress wake up and smell the freedom before it’s to late.

  2. avatar

    Build the wall and still use border security keep illegals out. Walls are great Shut the government down

  3. avatar

    My suggestion: Everyone with out a fence around there yard or business maybe has an excuse to not to have a wall at our border… Now everyone with a fence & lives in a gated community either take down your fence, tear down your gates or keep your mouths shut about the wall… Congress
    get off your controlled asses and get the damn wall built so we can tackle other pressing matters that concern our wonderful country…

  4. avatar

    Building the wall is less expensive than providing benefits for the illegal border crossers. If anyone can show that is less expensive, show your numbers or forever hold your peace!

  5. avatar
    Stephen Russell on

    Add ****** posts, drones, hidden CCTV arrays, sensors, roving patrols, & rear area CP & troop camp sites to north then I say Yes.
    Very doable & use idle federal parklands alone.
    Pay Ranchers to acess thier lands for security.

  6. avatar

    The wall will work up to a point. It will not be totally effective , some will find a way over or under it.
    IMO the ONLY thing that will work is for the US to stop and and all incentive for them to come here. No more free anything and a huge fine for anyone who hires an illegal. We accept on the best of the best.
    Since our politicians will never pass such a law or enforce it, I do not expect much of a change, just a lot of talk.

  7. avatar

    The WALL is Cheaper Than Fighting Open Border American Judges on Phony Asylum

    Without 1000s of cases back log and not enough judges. And the Asylum evidence is MAD magazine pages…LOL

  8. avatar

    Building a real wall is just the start. If Mexico objects, Trump has to give them the utterly unambiguous message: “This wouldn’t be necessary if the Mexican government would respect our sovereignty, and its citizens respected our LAWS!”

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