In a transcript of a White House meeting that was recently leaked to Buzzfeed, President Trump reportedly told staffers and reporters that the proposed border wall should be transparent so that drug cartels don’t crush people with launched drug packages.
During the meeting, Trump reportedly said that “One of the things with the wall is, you need transparency. You have to be able to see through it. In other words, if you can’t see through the wall—so it could be a steel wall with openings, but you have to have openings because you have to see what’s on the other side of the wall. As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them — they hit you in the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It’s over. As crazy as that sounds, you need transparency through that wall.”
President Trump offers a vivid example of someone on our side of the wall being killed by a falling, 60-lbs. bag of heroin pic.twitter.com/AH4XpV4Y28
— Katherine Miller (@katherinemiller) July 13, 2017
In this discussion, Trump basically pointed out that his own wall is not even going to work to prevent drug dealers from importing into the country, which is one of the main excuses that Trump has used to justify the proposal of the wall.
Trump went on to say that his wall will not even stretch for the entirety of the border.
“It’s a 2,000-mile border, but you don’t need 2,000 miles of wall because you have a lot of natural barriers. You have mountains. You have some rivers that are violent and vicious. You have some areas that are so far away that you don’t really have people crossing. So you don’t need that,” Trump said.
However, people moving into the country have proven that they will traverse the most dangerous terrain in order to enter the country.
Regardless of theoretical concerns, government borders are a utopian idea to begin with, especially when considering areas as large as Europe and the United States. In most of the world (and especially in Western countries), governments can’t even secure their own prisons and airports, which increasingly resemble fortresses.
Furthermore, creating an effective and staffed wall for the border of the U.S. is barely even physically or financially possible. Over the course of a three-year project, the U.S. government spent $2.4 billion to build 670 miles of very unimpressive fencing along the Mexican border.
Considering the U.S. shares roughly 6,000 miles of international borders, it would cost $19 billion to construct a small, unimpressive fence along that entire border. This figure does not include the cost of staffing the fence, or the costs that would come along with making a fence large enough, the barbed wires, weapons, and a buffer zone. These additional expenses could easily double or triple the cost of the project.
Additionally, this militarized border would require an expansion of the already bloated police and surveillance states. Currently, most of the U.S. border is not even fenced or staffed with military, and there have been no major disasters as a result. Some would argue the violence along borders, particularly the southern border between the U.S. and Mexico, is an example of a major disaster that could be remedied with tighter border controls. However, it is the state and the insistence on intervening in free humans movement and exchange of goods which fuels the cartels and gangs that cluster around distribution points along the border.
The blame should be placed on the restriction of movement that comes along with closed borders, not a lack of border control. Even if a massive wall were built and soldiers were staffed every few feet, the closed border would create a demand for immigration, and thus a huge financial incentive for soldiers and government workers to use their positions to smuggle people inside. This is exactly why drugs and contraband flow through prisons, behind many layers of walls and barbed wire. Even at airports, which are now as secure as prisons, people are still capable of sneaking guns and other prohibited items onto flights.