“A problem well stated is a problem half solved” Charles Kettering
Instead of building a wall, why don’t we address the real reasons that Mexicans and Central Americans immigrate into the US. More opportunity in the US and poverty in Mexico. But most Mexicans would rather stay in their own country with their family rather than move to the US.
After World War II, The Marshal Plan helped Europe to rebuild itself into a vital economy that was good for both Europe and the US. Coincidentally, that 4 year plan also cost $12b (but admittedly in 1945 dollars) which is about what the wall is expected to cost. It included objectives to remove trade barriers, adopt modern business practices, and encouraged union membership 1.
The wall will likely only benefit the businesses that build it, and of course the politicians they support. And once complete, anyone who wants to enter the US can still do so via the 11,323 miles of coastline or the 3,987 mile Canadian boarder!
Mexico and Central America should focus on increasing economic opportunities for all of it’s citizens. One way to do this is to increase it’s focus on renewable energy sources. This would reduce energy costs for families, increase employment and reduce pollution in Mexico City. In 2012 Mexico passed a comprehensive energy bill with the objective of getting 35% of it’s energy from clean sources by 2024 and cutting it’s emissions by 50% by 2050.
So why doesn’t the US consider supporting this transition with a Marshal Plan for Mexico and Central America instead of a Wall? This would certainly enhance the relationship between the two countries and help solve the immigration issues at far less cost.
1 Anthony Carew, Labour under the Marshall Plan: the politics of productivity and the marketing of management science (Manchester University Press, 1987)