The Failures of the U.S.-Mexico Border Wall

Trump's promised "impenetrable" wall has proven to be anything but.

March 7, 2021, 9:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Border Wall

mdurson / Shutterstock

Writing in High Country News, Jonathan Thompson evaluates the failures of Trump's proposed border wall, a "boondoggle" that has cost millions of dollars, disrupted cross-border human and animal communities and migration patterns, and met with resistance from property owners all along the way.

Despite Trump's promise that the "impregnable" wall would span the full length of the U.S.-Mexico border, his administration managed to build about 450 miles of barrier, "none of which was concrete and all of which was demonstrably pregnable." Furthermore, evidence suggests that the hundreds of miles of barriers built under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush "did very little to stop undocumented migration, in part because at least two-thirds of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. arrived on visas and then overstayed them." Yet since 2017, close to $15 billion have been appropriated to border wall construction by Congress.

Immediately after his inauguration, President Biden halted further construction of the border wall through an executive order. "Now, many observers are urging him to go further and dismantle the barrier, as well as try to repair the damage done."

Monday, March 1, 2021 in High Country News

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