Border Protection Issues

Decent Essays
Every year approximately $25 billion dollars worth of drugs and 1,201,000 illegal immigrants cross the U.S. southern border with Mexico. In the past 30 years the United States government has invested billions of dollars to prevent such a large number of narcotics and humans from crossing the border. However, no politician has talked about the crisis at the U.S. Mexico Border as much as Donald J. Trump, the Republican candidate for President of the United States. Trump has made the issue of border protection a central issue of his campaign, and his plan to “build a wall” has gained serious traction amongst his base of white working class Americans. This wall could have a major effect on on the environment, politics, trade, smuggling operations,…show more content…
However in the late 1990’s there was a boom in border fence construction and in 2006 the U.S. government began allocating millions of dollars to the construction of a more extensive barrier on the border; by 2009 there were 600 million miles of fencing along the border. Surprisingly, this has not led to a major decrease in the drug trafficking operations on the border, and much of this illegal activity happens in areas with a border fence. The areas of Ciudad Juárez/ El Paso and Nogales/Nogales have barely seen a decrease in drug crime or amounts of illegal substances smuggled across the border in the past ten years, even though both areas have extensive fencing and border control presence. The reason for this seemingly little effect that the fencing has had on the drug trade is fact that drug traffickers have an easy way to get around the fence, the go bellow. The New York Times reported that, “Tunnels are so numerous in the Nogales area that Border Patrol agents described the ground underneath the city as “Swiss cheese.” In fact, border control has raided thousands of tunnels years since the construction of the barriers. This brings into question whether Mr. Trump’s border proposal will be effective in keeping out drug traffic. Joe Agosttini, assistant port director in Nogales for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, has said, “Do you think a wall is gonna stop…show more content…
Mexico border has some of the largest amounts of protected land in North America, in fact there are over eight different national or state parks, forests, or land preserves, on both sides of the boundary. The Rio Grande valley, where the great river is still thin is one of the most biodiverse areas in the United States. However, the extensive building of fencing has caused a drop in biodiversity in the area. Newsweek wrote that “the barrier affects as much as 70 percent of the valley's three national wildlife refuges,” and that “the wall puts additional stress on Arroyo toads, California red-legged frogs, black-spotted newts and Pacific pond turtles--all listed as endangered or threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature--and the jaguarondi, a small wildcat endangered in the U.S. and threatened in Mexico.” This is a serious problem for the area, as many of the towns and people rely on this biodiversity as a source of income through tourism. This border could also put stress on one of the most amazing joint U.S. Mexican co-operations, in Big Bend National Park. In this area U.S. National Park Service and Mexican firefighters are constantly working on keeping invasive tall grass in check on the border, with controlled burns, without this effort one of the last pristine areas in the continental U.S. could disappear. Donald Trump’s wall proposal would work to effectively end this co-operation and block off more area from
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