Editorial: Trump’s Wall Will Damage Our Economy

Gina Roscoe, Reporter

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$55 million to replumb Flint, Michigan.

$1 billion in lost crops from Hurricane Florence.

$3 billion for California wildfires.

$300,000 for the Parkland school shooting.

These tragedies would cost less to rebuild than putting up a $5 billion border wall on just one third of the Mexican border.

The Mexican border is roughly 2,000 miles long. One third of that already has a fence, not a steel barrier, and is doing just fine according to the Washington Post. This fence was put in place by the President Bush administration’s Secure Fence Act of 2006 which cost $2.4 billion. Let’s remember that this was for a fence, not a steel barrier! That will cost way more and will require a lot of labor to be involved according to CNBC.

As times have changed, things have become progressively more expensive. The Government Accountability Office in 2009 expected that 1 mile of fencing would cost between $2.8 and $3.9 million. That was a decade ago. Now, according to the US Inflation Calculator, the cost would be between $3.2 and $4.62 million.

Our economy would lose more than $4 billion a year from building this wall along the border and using our own money to pay for it. $30,000 would be lost in economic output for each Mexican migrant the wall stopped. Part of this is because the U.S. has to pay to maintain the wall.

Taxes paid by American citizens would be used to pay to keep out Mexicans. Instead of putting money towards natural disaster funds, according to CNN. Places hit by natural disasters like Puerto Rico, Texas, and North Carolina won’t be funded with as much money because Trump wants to build a border wall instead of helping them out.

We have to pay to keep security guards on the wall to stop migrants, buy security cameras, drainage work, etc. This could cost as much as $750 million a year to maintain, according to Fox News and the Democratic staff of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

This border wall clearly isn’t the solution to America’s immigration issue. Yes, there are veterans living on our streets. Yes, the immigration system is broken. But this wall will not fix any of these issues. Call your local senator, Bob Casey, at (202) 224-6324 or send a letter to his office at 393 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510.