It is ineffective. It will cost too much money. It is a medieval security measure. Anti-border enforcement advocates have dreamed up a new reason to oppose a wall or physical barrier along the southern border. It is racist.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) again displayed a knack for developing novel arguments to justify her novelty policies.
“The entire PREMISE of a wall is not based in fact. It’s based in a racist + non-evidence based trope that immigrants are dangerous,” she rage-tweeted.
Actually, the premise of the wall is to reduce the likelihood that illegal aliens or human and drug traffickers will successfully cross through a porous border.
If we close open border crossings, that will increasingly drive human and drug traffickers to guarded ports of entry argued Timothy Ballard, founder of the anti-trafficking organization Operation Underground Railroad.
“Although critics reject the idea of a physical barrier along the southern border for a number of different reasons, my experience leads me to the conclusion that physical barriers are a tool that we must utilize in the fight against human trafficking. Walls, barriers, physical deterrents, it doesn’t matter what they’re called, they work,” said Ballard, who comes to the issue with 12 years’ experience working as in the child trafficking unit of Homeland Security Investigations, a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
During his Senate Judiciary Committee testimony, Ballard stated as many as 10,000 children per year are trafficked into the U.S. to be used as sex slaves.
A wall is not the only countermeasure, but part of a comprehensive and flexible approach to toughening the border, Ballard testified.
Earlier in the day, U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Kevin McAleenan made a similar argument. He also noted that presently 87 percent of migrants are apprehended outside of ports of entry and that traffickers continue to exploit gaps in the law and the border.
But the most compelling argument came from someone not in the room. Ballard relayed the words of Liliana, a girl who was kidnapped from her Central American village at the age of 11 or 12. She was taken to New York City and subsequently raped for money between 30-40 times a day for five years.
“Had there been a wall for me my captors would have been forced to take me to a port of entry. A U.S. officer might have seen my distress. I might have yelled out to them. I am currently working with Homeland Security agents on my case,” Ballard recalled her telling him. “I love them. I think they would have rescued me at the port of entry.” Liliana concluded, “I know many girls who came in like me…we know a wall could have saved us…”
Would a wall have saved Liliana or the thousands of others from years of brutality? No one will ever know, but the chances of her captors being forced toward a port of entry would have been far greater if a wall were in place.