The Fence of Economy in Mario Vargas Llosa's Essay, The Fence of Lies

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In his essay, “The Fence of Lies,” Mario Vargas Llosa explores the potential consequences of building a wall across the Mexican-American border. He argues that, if built, the wall would be ineffective and a waste of resources. He proposes that the money allotted for the border wall be used instead to offer better job opportunities to Latin American citizens within their own borders. However, this proposal is unrealistic as it offers no real solutions to the economic problem of illegal immigration, nor is it an effective plan. Vargas Llosa’s main stance is that the United States government ought not to fund the border wall because it will cost around 6 billion and will “soon be as full of holes as swiss cheese” (Vargas Llosa 49), and …show more content…

This certainly will slow the development of a wall, but cannot stop it, as people can be bought out eventually. The other arguments Vargas Llosa uses end up harming his thesis rather than helping it. He writes that Hispanic immigrants sent 45 billion dollars home to their families. He then guesses that the immigrants keep roughly 4 or 5 times that amount, spending it in the United States. This support is flawed on multiple levels. First, the credibility of this argument is dubious, as it relies on an estimation. Also, the original statistic of 45 billion dollars looks at both illegal and legal immigrants. It is not immigration the wall seeks to stop, but simply illegal immigration. Moreover, would not illegal immigrants send more money home than a quarter of their income, as they are not in this country as legal citizens? If this is true, illegal immigrants act not as a boost to the economy but leeches sucking jobs and money. Finally, the argument which truly bites Vargas Llosa in the back is his suggestions on how to combat the problem without the wall. He advises that the money be redirected to build factories in Latin America where would-be illegal immigrants could work. However, 6 billion dollars is not enough to fix the economies of 20 countries, especially when our own economy is floundering. Besides, workers in a Mexican factory would still look across the border and see better wages, better benefits, and a better place to be.

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