With all the rhetoric that Donald Trump has been spouting lately about illegal immigrants, deportations, and building his own version of Hadrian’s Wall with Mexico, the details of how he would go about actually doing all this have largely been ignored by the bombastic Republican candidate. Trump and his Republican cohorts imagine that the process of kicking 11 million people out of the country and constructing a wall from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean would be as easy as pie. But the reality is quite different.
Let’s begin with the wall that Donald Trump wants to build between the United States and Mexico. While this idea of constructing a wall between these two nations has been bandied about by Republican pundits and so-called “experts” for decades, the costs involved in such a structure – as well as the time required to construct it – are always underestimated by its supporters.
As the New York Times states, Trump has indicated that his wall would stand at least 50 feet tall and be made out of preformed concrete. While initially, the wall was to extend the whole length of the border, Trump later suggested the cost could be cut by taking advantage of natural barriers – despite the fact that these natural barriers haven’t really worked before.
While Trump calculates that such a wall could be constructed for as little as $4 billion, others have suggested that the actual cost would be at least $25 billion and that the construction process would be colossal in scope and take years.
Experts estimate that in order for the project to even be completed within Trump’s – as of yet imaginary – first term, more than 1,000 workers would have to be employed around-the-clock in the process of constructing the wall. Worse still, all of the time, money, and resources spent on the creation of the wall would be no guarantee whatsoever that it would actually work.
Actually, there is good reason to think that the wall would not work at all. As the Express Tribune states, the United States already has barriers of various sorts positioned along its southern border. These barriers are patrolled by agents using sophisticated technology and aircraft, but illegal immigrants still manage to get across on a regular basis. In fact, drug dealers simply dig tunnels underneath the barrier.
More than this, it’s questionable whether such a wall is even necessary anymore. Decades ago when this wall was first proposed by right-wing extremists, the number of illegals crossing the border between Mexico and the United States was fairly high. But for more than a decade now those numbers have been dropping like a rock. It could be argued that we just don’t need this wall anymore – assuming we ever did.
As for Trump’s proposed draconian roundup of 11 million people and their deportation out of the United States, the immorality of the plan is only exceeded by the impossibility of actually implementing it. Is the United States going to create “camps” where we keep these people until such time as we can ship them across the border?
If Mexico refuses delivery, are we going to keep these people in these camps? When other nations do this sort of thing, we refer to them as fascists or totalitarian dictatorships. If we did this, how could the United States possibly justify such actions to the world or ever criticize North Korea or anyone else for human rights abuses again?
Trump’s proposals for walls, deportations, and possible holding camps are antithetical to everything the United States is supposed to stand for. But aside from this, even if we were the kind of nation that was willing to engage in such activities, the impracticalities and costs of such a project make it virtually impossible.
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)