The Negative Impact Trump's Border Wall Would Have

Regardless of your stance on immigration, my goal here is to inform you of the environmental and economical reasons that Trump’s proposed border wall between the United States and America would be detrimental.

Firstly, the Department of Homeland Security has estimated that building the wall would cost just over $20 billion. In addition to the price tag, the wall will create additional strife between America and Mexico. Mexico is America’s third biggest trade partner after China and Canada respectively. In 2017, an estimated $615.9 billion worth of goods and services were traded with Mexico. U.S. exports to Mexico supported, according to the Department of Commerce’s latest available date from 2015, 1.2 million jobs. The border wall would strain our relationship with Mexico; America’s economy cannot risk losing our trade relationship with Mexico. 

Secondly, the existing wall is extremely detrimental to the environment and further construction will only deepen the destruction. Animals need the connection between Mexico and United States. The region’s scarce food and water resources often split by the border. Walls would also divide populations of animals. In Arizona, where a segment of wall was built several years ago, scientists watched a herd of pronghorn disappear because when the barrier was built all the males except one old non-breeding male was trapped on the Mexico side dooming the herd to not reproduce. In addition, walls prevent many species from migrating. The endangered ocelot, jaguar, and jaguarundi cats need to migrate to Mexico to survive the habitat loss in America. Over 700 animal species, including 93 endangered, threatened, and vulnerable species, cross the border yearly in their migration pattern.

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In 2017, Congress gave the Department of Homeland Security the legal authority to bypass environmental laws including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the Clean Air Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act when securing the border with Mexico for the cause of national security.  However, Trump will need to secure a massive amount of funding from Congress before he starts construction on any of his prototypes. The Federal spending budget that was passed back in March included $1.6 billion for border security (surveillance technology and repairs to existing barriers) but not enough for Trump’s “big, beautiful” wall.

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