4 Liberal Arguments against the Wall and How to Beat Them

After so many waves of propaganda against the wall, many Americans are forgetting why they originally wanted it.  It has therefore become necessary to expose these bad arguments so that the Democrats do not succeed in subverting the great gift President Trump is offering the American people.  There is an answer to all of these objections, that all Americans, non-experts and experts, can understand.

1. The wall will separate families.

The liberal argument: An immigrant might go looking for a better life in the U.S., but he leaves his wife and children behind.  In time, he can earn money, buy property, and bring the rest of his family into the country as well.  However, if Americans build a wall, then that man cannot bring his family into the country, and they must stay separate, or he will be deported while his family is allowed to come in.

Response: This narrative assumes many things.  It assumes (1) that illegal aliens are not already subject to horrible exploitation from traffickers, (2) that they are somehow able to find jobs and buy property, (3) that the family will have no choice but to come in illegally as well, and (4) that no one had a choice in any of this and that the U.S. is somehow at fault for this situation.

No doubt, many immigrants will separate from their families out of desperation, but this is nonetheless a choice.  They can also choose to stay with their families and seek opportunity where they are and go through the legal process of living in America or emigrate to another country.  If they come to America illegally, they will struggle with integrating and finding legitimate work, which will then prevent them from finding a place to live.  And if they come here illegally, that doesn't mean their family members have to do the same.

A wall does not separate family members.  Family members separate themselves.  A wall may prevent them from making a foolhardy decision and may actually do more to keep families together.

2: The wall won't work.

The liberal argument: Studies will show that most illegal immigration happens as a result of people overstaying their visas, not by people walking across the Rio Grande.  If conservatives were truly serious about stopping illegal immigration, they would track down people who violate the terms of their visa and deport them.  Also, walls can be easily circumvented.

Response: Because "undocumented immigrants" are just that — undocumented — this makes studies guessing at the number of illegal aliens here because of overstaying a visa and those crossing the border without papers highly suspect.  It also throws into doubt the statistics of how many illegal aliens commit additional crimes.  People with visas, even expired ones, can be counted.  People who bunk at their friends' houses after a bumpy ride on a coyote's truck cannot be counted.

This also brings up another problem: immigrants who apply for visas in the first place are quite different from the ones who don't.  Even to visit the U.S., people must do a great deal of paperwork (and pay money) to prove the validity of their stay in the country.  They are generally law-abiding, productive people.  By contrast, those who cross the border without papers are the ones who have no chance of acquiring a visa — i.e., criminals and the desperately poor trying to claim asylum.

Therefore, it is a different matter to deal with aliens crossing the border because there was no wall to block them and dealing with immigrants who overstay their visa because they have integrated into American life.  The first presents a security problem, which can largely be addressed with a wall; the second presents a documentation problem, which can be addressed with reform to immigration laws.

Concerning the hypothetical claim that illegal aliens can just build tunnels or pay off border officials to circumvent the wall, actual data prove otherwise.  Walls may not prevent all illegal crossings, but they will stop most of them — because that's what walls do.  As Rep. Crenshaw tweeted: "When you're trying to cross a border, and there's a 20-plus foot steel slated barrier in your way, it seriously inhibits your ability to cross.  A sensor tells a Border Agent, miles away, that [he has] to find you now.  I wonder which one works better."

3. The wall is immoral.

Liberal argument: Migration is a human right.  People in poor countries are entitled to migrate to richer ones that offer more opportunity, and it is only moral and fair that those richer countries let them.  Only selfish racists would object to this.

Response: Having open borders or no borders is unsustainable and irresponsible.  It is unsustainable because American businesses and government cannot offer jobs and social services to every person who would come, particularly low-skilled workers who consume more and produce less than average.  Unregulated illegal immigration would quickly overwhelm the system and turn America into a third-world country.

Eliminating borders would also enable the villains who drive people north in the first place.  Latin American governments already do close to nothing for their people, and there would be little reason to change this.  The U.S. would absorb their vast underclass and embolden them to be even less responsible.  This already happens now, with immigrants seeking asylum from bad governments, yet liberals somehow blame the U.S., not Honduras or Venezuela, for corruption and heartlessness.

4: Let's reform immigration law instead.

Liberal argument: Illegal immigration is a problem because coming in the U.S. legally is such a hassle.  If people were really interested in reducing illegal immigration, they wouldn't bother with a wall, but would make it easier to come here legally.  Border officials could enforce immigration laws more effectively if those laws were fair and coherent.

Response: The process of becoming an American citizen is tedious and outdated and could use serious reform, but one should remember that its byzantine nature evolved from the idea of testing an immigrant's goodwill and ability to fit into American culture.  There would be a tradeoff with making it easier to come and live here legally.  If it's too easy and no quota is set, then poor immigrants will overwhelm American communities.  If it's too difficult and very limited quotas are set, prospective immigrants will have to paradoxically break the law to have legal status.

All that said, calling for immigration reform in reaction to building a wall is a distraction.  A wall is meant to physically stop illegal entry into the country.  Immigration law is meant to regulate legal entry into the country.  A wall has no bearing on the process of becoming a legal resident, and immigration laws have no bearing on keeping people from walking across a border without permission.

People come into the country illegally because the incentive is high and the difficulty of crossing illegally is relatively low.  A wall would significantly raise the difficulty of coming in illegally and thereby encourage prospective immigrants to seek legal means of entry.  Instead of making legal immigration easier with laxer laws and a less secure border, the U.S. can at least make illegal immigration harder with a more secure border, which would then make existing laws easier to enforce.

Recommending immigration reform as a solution also inevitably moves the conversation from the clear goal of securing the border to the dense thicket of immigration policy.  It complicates a simple concrete idea with questions about immigrant quotas and criteria for citizenship, national interests, and so many other things.  This then diverts public attention away from the wall — and the media know this, which is why they bring it up only now, when a wall is seriously considered.

Logic and experience prove that a wall on the border is the first step toward a better immigration policy.  It will allow Americans to finally determine the quality and quantity of immigrants they would like to take in, which is a nation's sovereign right, and it will validate the immigrants, who followed the rules and show a genuine interest in contributing to their new country.  In other words, the wall can go a long way in making America great again.

Liberals know this, and this is why they fight it with every phony argument they can.  Americans need to see past the propaganda and trust in their common sense.

Auguste Meyrat is an English teacher in the Dallas area.  He is the editor of The Everyman and has also written essays for The Federalist and The American Conservative.  Follow him on Twitter.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.

After so many waves of propaganda against the wall, many Americans are forgetting why they originally wanted it.  It has therefore become necessary to expose these bad arguments so that the Democrats do not succeed in subverting the great gift President Trump is offering the American people.  There is an answer to all of these objections, that all Americans, non-experts and experts, can understand.

1. The wall will separate families.

The liberal argument: An immigrant might go looking for a better life in the U.S., but he leaves his wife and children behind.  In time, he can earn money, buy property, and bring the rest of his family into the country as well.  However, if Americans build a wall, then that man cannot bring his family into the country, and they must stay separate, or he will be deported while his family is allowed to come in.

Response: This narrative assumes many things.  It assumes (1) that illegal aliens are not already subject to horrible exploitation from traffickers, (2) that they are somehow able to find jobs and buy property, (3) that the family will have no choice but to come in illegally as well, and (4) that no one had a choice in any of this and that the U.S. is somehow at fault for this situation.

No doubt, many immigrants will separate from their families out of desperation, but this is nonetheless a choice.  They can also choose to stay with their families and seek opportunity where they are and go through the legal process of living in America or emigrate to another country.  If they come to America illegally, they will struggle with integrating and finding legitimate work, which will then prevent them from finding a place to live.  And if they come here illegally, that doesn't mean their family members have to do the same.

A wall does not separate family members.  Family members separate themselves.  A wall may prevent them from making a foolhardy decision and may actually do more to keep families together.

2: The wall won't work.

The liberal argument: Studies will show that most illegal immigration happens as a result of people overstaying their visas, not by people walking across the Rio Grande.  If conservatives were truly serious about stopping illegal immigration, they would track down people who violate the terms of their visa and deport them.  Also, walls can be easily circumvented.

Response: Because "undocumented immigrants" are just that — undocumented — this makes studies guessing at the number of illegal aliens here because of overstaying a visa and those crossing the border without papers highly suspect.  It also throws into doubt the statistics of how many illegal aliens commit additional crimes.  People with visas, even expired ones, can be counted.  People who bunk at their friends' houses after a bumpy ride on a coyote's truck cannot be counted.

This also brings up another problem: immigrants who apply for visas in the first place are quite different from the ones who don't.  Even to visit the U.S., people must do a great deal of paperwork (and pay money) to prove the validity of their stay in the country.  They are generally law-abiding, productive people.  By contrast, those who cross the border without papers are the ones who have no chance of acquiring a visa — i.e., criminals and the desperately poor trying to claim asylum.

Therefore, it is a different matter to deal with aliens crossing the border because there was no wall to block them and dealing with immigrants who overstay their visa because they have integrated into American life.  The first presents a security problem, which can largely be addressed with a wall; the second presents a documentation problem, which can be addressed with reform to immigration laws.

Concerning the hypothetical claim that illegal aliens can just build tunnels or pay off border officials to circumvent the wall, actual data prove otherwise.  Walls may not prevent all illegal crossings, but they will stop most of them — because that's what walls do.  As Rep. Crenshaw tweeted: "When you're trying to cross a border, and there's a 20-plus foot steel slated barrier in your way, it seriously inhibits your ability to cross.  A sensor tells a Border Agent, miles away, that [he has] to find you now.  I wonder which one works better."

3. The wall is immoral.

Liberal argument: Migration is a human right.  People in poor countries are entitled to migrate to richer ones that offer more opportunity, and it is only moral and fair that those richer countries let them.  Only selfish racists would object to this.

Response: Having open borders or no borders is unsustainable and irresponsible.  It is unsustainable because American businesses and government cannot offer jobs and social services to every person who would come, particularly low-skilled workers who consume more and produce less than average.  Unregulated illegal immigration would quickly overwhelm the system and turn America into a third-world country.

Eliminating borders would also enable the villains who drive people north in the first place.  Latin American governments already do close to nothing for their people, and there would be little reason to change this.  The U.S. would absorb their vast underclass and embolden them to be even less responsible.  This already happens now, with immigrants seeking asylum from bad governments, yet liberals somehow blame the U.S., not Honduras or Venezuela, for corruption and heartlessness.

4: Let's reform immigration law instead.

Liberal argument: Illegal immigration is a problem because coming in the U.S. legally is such a hassle.  If people were really interested in reducing illegal immigration, they wouldn't bother with a wall, but would make it easier to come here legally.  Border officials could enforce immigration laws more effectively if those laws were fair and coherent.

Response: The process of becoming an American citizen is tedious and outdated and could use serious reform, but one should remember that its byzantine nature evolved from the idea of testing an immigrant's goodwill and ability to fit into American culture.  There would be a tradeoff with making it easier to come and live here legally.  If it's too easy and no quota is set, then poor immigrants will overwhelm American communities.  If it's too difficult and very limited quotas are set, prospective immigrants will have to paradoxically break the law to have legal status.

All that said, calling for immigration reform in reaction to building a wall is a distraction.  A wall is meant to physically stop illegal entry into the country.  Immigration law is meant to regulate legal entry into the country.  A wall has no bearing on the process of becoming a legal resident, and immigration laws have no bearing on keeping people from walking across a border without permission.

People come into the country illegally because the incentive is high and the difficulty of crossing illegally is relatively low.  A wall would significantly raise the difficulty of coming in illegally and thereby encourage prospective immigrants to seek legal means of entry.  Instead of making legal immigration easier with laxer laws and a less secure border, the U.S. can at least make illegal immigration harder with a more secure border, which would then make existing laws easier to enforce.

Recommending immigration reform as a solution also inevitably moves the conversation from the clear goal of securing the border to the dense thicket of immigration policy.  It complicates a simple concrete idea with questions about immigrant quotas and criteria for citizenship, national interests, and so many other things.  This then diverts public attention away from the wall — and the media know this, which is why they bring it up only now, when a wall is seriously considered.

Logic and experience prove that a wall on the border is the first step toward a better immigration policy.  It will allow Americans to finally determine the quality and quantity of immigrants they would like to take in, which is a nation's sovereign right, and it will validate the immigrants, who followed the rules and show a genuine interest in contributing to their new country.  In other words, the wall can go a long way in making America great again.

Liberals know this, and this is why they fight it with every phony argument they can.  Americans need to see past the propaganda and trust in their common sense.

Auguste Meyrat is an English teacher in the Dallas area.  He is the editor of The Everyman and has also written essays for The Federalist and The American Conservative.  Follow him on Twitter.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.