Building the Wall we do not Need


I do not believe in open borders. I actually agree with Trump’s sentiment that we are not a sovereign nation if our borders are open. We do have a problem with illegal immigration. It needs fixing. It has needed fixing for decades, and no Administration and no Congress has had the will and the perseverance to tackle the problem.

Here comes our new populist president and he trumpets a solution that seems really simple: We will build a wall!

I have several problems with that.

First, we already have a wall. I live within 50 miles of the border to Mexico and I have seen the wall many times over the years. It’s there now. It separates the countries in the populated areas. Where it stops there are vast deserts, natural walls all by themselves. Anybody who has hiked the desert, like I have, will know.

The wall is not the problem. The will to enforce the existing laws is the problem.

But even with that there are issues.

border-crossings Source: United States Border Patrol

Look at  the chart above. It shows that the number of attempted crossings has fallen precipitously in the Bush and Obama years. The number of non-Mexicans has actually gone up.

There is a problem with this chart, though, and I therefore consider it “misleading statistics.” It shows the number of apprehensions. Since those that get through can’t be counted, we have no statistics for them. Since I do not have counter information, I can only speculate. But I could argue that under Obama, we have not TRIED as hard to stop crossings, so we found less.

So I have two major points to make:

  1. Based on this data, and the chart above, it looks like we’re trying to build a wall when we least need it.
  2. Do not always believe what you see as statistics. It can be very misleading. I have no evidence to the contrary, but the above chart may actually prove the opposite of what it is trying to show, namely that we’re letting more people through.

I invite my reader to comment and provide counter evidence. I’d love to update this chart.

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