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Putting Up Walls Is Never the Solution

So we’ve been hearing on the news lately about how Republicans are voting to put up a wall along our southern border. For the second time, the House approved a 700-mile border fence, you know, because it’s stretching our guard thin, trying to monitor the southern borders. They say it’s to so illegal immigration from Mexico, but they underline every comment about this topic with comments about protecting our borders from terrorists entering our country.
Now, they haven’t figured out how to pay for this wall, they’ve just voted that we need it. Maybe it would end up being cheaper than hiring people to monitor those borders, but still... We don’t need to worry about the cost of anything here, we’re worried about making us safe, right? Isn’t that President Bush’s premise about giving up some of out fundamental rights in this country just to make us feel temporarily safe?
When I was hearing about this plan, all I could think was that it seemed just like what China did, when one town wanted to protect itself so it created a wall, then another town did the same, eventually being strung to the Great Wall of China — which I think is the only man-made structure visible from outer space. But then, when I think of that, it makes me think of the South Park episode where the mayor asked the Chinese gut who runs the City Wok restaurant (which the Chinese man always pronounces as “shitty Wok”) to build a wall around South Park — and as soon as he finished building the wall, Mongolians on horseback kept coming along, trying to break down his wall. And I don’t want to philosophize about South Park, but the point of that episode was that putting up walls didn’t make the town better, and the notion of feeling safe was utterly useless.
But maybe something can be learned from a cartoon show like this. If we’re worried about illegal immigration from Mexico, maybe we should learn to better deal with (and kick out of the country) already existing illegal immigrants (granted, our costs for basic produce from southern states might go up, but that’s the price we say we’re willing to claim for having our country be immigrant free, right?). Maybe video cameras at a guard station for physically watching a larger area would work if you want to protect the southern border, where someone checking cameras could contact one helicopter (because of large areas being monitored by one person with many screens) or truck to stop anyone who is witnessed on video crossing the border illegally. Or maybe the screening process for immigration to the United States could be made a little easier — I mean, this country was founded on a bunch of immigrants, but when they legally came to this country, they worked to be Americans, and they didn’t continue to adore and pledge allegiance to the country they deserted for a better life in America.
And for some reason, I don’t think the effort to build walls along the southern border really has anything to do with stopping terrorists from entering this country. You know, since most terrorists were legally in this country to begin with. That, and it’s probably easier to sneak in from Canada, if they really wanted to try. It’s just a shame when one political party tries to push a point so hard, that it ends up pushing the wrong way, for the wrong reasons. They only make a bigger mess of our country, while they keep telling themselves they’re doing what’s best.

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Chicago poet Janet Kuypers
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