Letter: Wall Trump wants to build is not a good decision

From: Michael Greven


Mexico is to pay for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, per then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. Somehow that has now morphed itself into American taxpayers will pay for the wall and somehow those funds will be recovered. Regardless of the funding mechanism, the wall is an error morally, economically, socially and environmentally.

It is a moral obligation to help care for those of lesser means regardless of who they are. The great majority of those crossing the border illegally are doing so to better their lives and the lives of their families. If our children were hungry and the outlook bleak for the future I imagine many of us would do the same thing. It is also critical to recall that the greatest reason for the problems in many Central American countries is a failed U.S. war on drugs, consistent meddling in Central American governments by the U.S. and the unending consumption of illicit drugs by Americans. This migration is largely due to errors made in the U.S. and we need to recognize and own the errors.

Our economy has benefited enormously from the migrants. One would have to be blind not to recognize that the latest wave of immigrants are working in the slaughterhouses, the fields, cleaning hotel rooms and homes, working in dairies and doing tough jobs that need to be done. Has this driven down labor rates? Likely not, because these jobs historically have not paid well. There is a criminal element that needs to be addressed, but that is the case with each group of people and each group of migrants.

There is no better way to divide societies than to build a wall. I have vivid memories of the wall bisecting Germany, which was established by the Russians to keep people in East Germany. It was a complete economic and social failure. It fostered a mentality of “us” and “them” which persists to this day, despite the wall being gone. The proposed border wall will also negatively impact local communities and indigenous groups in as yet undetermined ways.

The environment will see no benefits from building a wall, whether considered from the perspective of animal migration or simply from the opportunities to forage and to mate. Its creation alone will cause destruction in sensitive habitats and the wall will not enhance the views!

What is needed are reforms in the U.S. drug laws, new thinking around the “war” on drugs, a simplified registration system at the border for people seeking to enter for work, and creative engagement with Central American governments. History is clear: The U.S. has been strong-arming Central American governments for the last 100 years and that needs to stop. It has failed.

We have enjoyed a long period of friendly relationships with our neighbors to the south and we need to grow that relationship in lieu of destroying it. President Trump’s border wall along the Mexican border is not a solution for today or tomorrow! It’s Trumps folly!