The Great Wall of China is a stunning and archaic mark of human ingenuity. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Great Wall is a highly-visited tourist spot.
It seems that the House of Representatives feels left out and wants to build America her own wall. Having approved the Secure Fence Act, the construction of a 700-mile wall along the Mexican border is to be expected. Like the Great Wall, this one would also be a top choice travel destination, but for very different reasons.
The House of Representatives is not mistaken in its efforts, but in its methods. A wall might seem like a resolution of simplicity, but in actuality, it is foolish. As Albert Einstein once said, “Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
The House of Representatives has stepped into the deadly realm of oversimplification, and I am concerned about where it will lead. This wall’s attraction would be part of a challenge rather than a vacation. Visitors would face a test much like something we might have seen on Nickelodeon’s “Global Guts.”
However, if one would successfully scale this wall and get to the other side, there would not be a piece of the Agrocrag waiting as a prize. Instead, people would have to run for their lives through the desert in an attempt to avoid border police.
To be completely honest, at first look, the Secure Fence Act seemed like a joke. It wasn’t.
However naive, something still does not seem right with this wall business. It puts American civilization into regression, marching backward to the days of the Cold War in Germany. When historians discuss the implications of the Berlin Wall, there is usually a negative response to the entire premise of shielding people from difference.
Its purpose and construction was to keep those of the same economic background in their place. The Wall split families, prevented laborers from returning to jobs and isolated West Berlin. Many who tried to make it over the mount were shot in the process, and their corpses littered the border like trash in a junkyard.
A wall along the Mexican border might have a similar effect.
On Nov. 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell, and people around the world rejoiced. People celebrated at the wall falling. People were not happy about the wall being constructed.
Even now, the Berlin Wall is an object of constant criticism.
Does the American government not see that it would be creating something that would be deemed a detriment not only by people in two nations, but also by history? The Secure Fence Act may recreate the Berlin Wall or may not. But, the U.S. has always been a country of innovation. It would be unfortunate to see a nation of such valor attempt to resolve the issue of illegal immigration by installing a concept
of the past.
While the Secure Fence Act might seem like a quick fix, the 700-mile divide will be extremely costly to construct. Monitoring and maintenance will also be part of this ongoing financial commitment. Another hole in America’s change purse is not good. We never applaud higher taxes.
Still, there is a rationale behind the Secure Fence Act. In 2000, the Census Bureau estimated that 8 million illegal immigrants were living on U.S. soil. Better employment opportunities are a constant temptress to those living in poverty below the border. As family members attempt to make their fortune in the U.S., others are drawn to relocate.
While illegal immigration might look harmless to Americans, there are some major drawbacks. The creation of job competition for union workers who expect a higher pay scale is a prime example. But there are other serious issues involved.
Because emergency rooms are legally bound to provide services regardless of financial
stability, many immigrants head to hospitals without a penny to spare.
In southwestern states like Arizona, this leads to the disbanding of emergency care, and it makes it difficult for American residents to find service.
As proprietors of the future, the U.S. government should not look backward for a resolution.
Erin Bernard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.