The Wall Isn’t Bigoted, It’s Common Sense

Nathan Harman


Few campaign promises made by Donald Trump on the 2016 campaign trail were as contentious as “The Wall.” The promise of a physical barrier to keep out unwanted illegal immigrants crossing the border resonated with many across the country because it was a real, tangible way to keep immigration under control and to keep the more dangerous and troublesome migrants out of the country. 

But why was this contentious? Is preventing people from entering the U.S. illegally, keeping out potentially dangerous foreign diseases, and ensuring greater security for the people in a way that doesn’t infringe upon individual rights not a noble cause? Many would say it isn’t, but that doesn’t quite line up with reality.

Let’s consider what would happen if the wall were actually built. The most obvious result we would likely see is a drop in illegal immigration because big concrete walls are harder to scale than mere fencing with some barbed wire. Unless these immigrant caravans start coming equipped with sophisticated wall-climbing equipment, they would have a very hard time getting in illegally.

Shocking, right? 

Next, with reduced immigration, what will happen to wages in the U.S.? Since illegal immigrants work off the grid and don’t have to abide by minimum wage and overtime laws, they can easily undercut lawful U.S. workers on the price of their work. This, combined with the fact that these immigrants have an incentive to lower their cost of labor as much as possible to offset the risk of their employers hiring them illegally, deflate wages because now employers have a way to cut their costs and bypass the law by employing these immigrants. But, with reduced illegal immigration, this effect would be cut short, which would boost wages. 

Or is helping the wages of U.S. workers a bigoted act these days?

After we have cut off the illegal stream, U.S. immigration agents could effectively screen applicants, mainly for any sort of foreign diseases, which is common practice between developed nations when people immigrate. While there is no wall, we have no way to sift out people that could potentially introduce unwanted diseases into the population and stymie efforts by government officials to contain disease outbreaks and prevent them from entering the county. 

But isn’t preventing deadly foreign diseases from entering the country an act of xenophobia?

I support immigration to America. We have the strongest and most innovative economy, most stable court system, and highest quality healthcare in the world. Labor statistics over the past century have shown that immigrants, when they come legally, are hard-working and law-abiding citizens that can contribute vastly to the nation.

The problem is that without a border wall, foreigners who are less than well-intentioned can readily cross into the country and cause mayhem. It’s these figures that a wall would keep out, not the innocent and well-intentioned. And this is what so many people miss when they criticize the wall: good people are still able to come in through our immigration system and start a new life while at the same time we can keep out the gangs and criminals. That’s all we who support the wall ask. No bigotry towards these people, no hatred towards where they come from, and no fear about the culture they bring so long as they abide by the rule of law. 

America was founded on the idea that people could escape the persecutions of their homelands and the bigotry they saw all around them and come here to begin new lives freely and in peace, which are principles we still uphold today. But we aren’t about to let our offer be spoiled at the expense of the innocent by those who would do us harm in an attempt to enter our borders, and the wall is the most certain way to ensure that it isn’t.