Millions of Americans support building an enforcing a wall to keep illegal immigrants out of the country. Supporters of the wall believe that illegal immigrants are a drain on our economy, prison system, and healthcare. Indeed, the leading Republican presidential candidate at the time of this writing orchestrates chants at his rallies, “Build the Wall.”
Unfortunately, the wall is just a symbol of quick fix to a problem with such deep roots that the wall will do nothing to support Americans. Consider the fact that many citizens already build private walls around their properties. Yet these homes are no safer than the people who live in apartment complexes with hundreds of tenants. In the first situation the wall keeps people out, in the second situation, people get in, but there is always someone around to ask questions.
Imagine a world in which every home had a wall to keep its neighbors out. Every city had a wall to keep its neighbors out. Every state had a wall. Every country had a wall. Traveling would be such a burden no one would ever do it. There would be no common space to enjoy. If we advocate walls to solve our problems, we live in a world without joy.
Americans enjoy the freedom to travel to England, Canada, and France. Shouldn’t Central and South Americans have the freedom to come to the US? You may ask, but immigrants come to steal our jobs, while we only travel for vacation. I respond, every person has a right to find a spot on this world to live, work, and love, regardless of where he was born. This argument is the same as the rich vs poor: Every poor person has a right to advance in society regardless of which social class she was born to. Every person wanting to come to the US has a right to.
There is a distinction between people seeking work and prosperity versus those who seek to inflict terror. And the wall only serves to keep out the former.
People think that when immigrants come to America, they will only take. Take, take, take. Take jobs, take money, take prosperity. But every worker who comes is also a consumer. Given the same economy, an immigrant worker would have the same role as an American worker. The only way immigrants can detriment the economy is if they work underground for less than minimum wage, not paying taxes. The “Build the Wall” mentality only serves to support this black market.
There is so much space in America, we could build hundreds of cities of millions of people in each one. And these cities can be mostly self sustaining, with most regions of the country able to farm, draw water, build shelter, and take care of itself. The problem is not the number of people in America or where they came from: the problem is how people distribute themselves and join in the economy. If we can encourage people to go to school and seek higher paying jobs, then everyone can prosper.