One of the main promises of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is that he will solve the U.S.’s immigration problem by building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. The idea of building a wall along a nearly 2,000 mile border would be a bit absurd on it’s own, but Trump’s plan to make Mexico pay for it elevates things to a whole new level of insanity.
In an interview with CNN, Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, said there is is no way his country would pay for the border wall. In fact, it’s estimated that the cost of the wall could be as high as $25 billion and that’s just for the initial construction. Maintenance and upkeep could run as high as $750 million a year.
Peña Nieto went on to argue that such a wall was both necessary and unhelpful, saying that the U.S. and Mexico’s security and prosperity are based on relatively open borders and free trade.
‘…and I’ll say it again, this is what we have been doing with the U.S. government. We have a relationship of coordination, of collaboration and of cooperation in the area of security, precisely in order to have security in Mexico, to have security in the U.S. and … we are journey companions. We are strategic partners working for security in North America.’
The cost of the wall aside, Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the entire border is indicative of the GOP nominee’s lack of nuance. Historically, border walls, such as the the one along the West Bank in Israel, have worked because they were in densely populated areas where slowing a person down for 5 or 10 minutes gives border guards enough time to catch them, but in a relatively underpopulated area it’s likely that there won’t be enough guards so that 10 minute delay won’t do any good.
Peña Nieto also dismissed Trump’s claims that Mexico was sending rapists and murders saying it was nothing more than a generalization that was completely false. He further went onto point out that more than 1 million people legally cross the border every day, along with nearly 400,000 cars and trucks. In short, Trump’s proposed wall is not only a failure from an immigration standpoint it is also a failure from an economic one.
Despite his harsh words for Trump, Peña Nieto stressed that he will work with whoever is elected President of the United States and says that he thinks both candidates want to provide a better life for their people.
‘I believe that any of the candidates, Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Trump, I’m sure that both of them would like to build good conditions and better wellness for their people. We are very respectful to whomever is elected. We want to build a positive and constructive relation among Mexico and to whomever becomes president of United States.’
Peña Nieto’s full statements regarding the wall can be seen here: