Border Wall: High and Tall or Not at All?

Border Wall: High and Tall or Not at All?

Theodore Bahr, Writer

Politics are often considered a topic for adults, or at least people old enough to vote, but lately polical news has found itself in the forefront of many high school students minds and discussions.

The 2016 presidential election brought a new level of political awareness, and many students now feel strongly regarding major political issues that represent the dueling ideologies of the two major parties of the U.S. Government.

The southern border wall, or Trump’s Wall, is a hot topic everywhere, and has dominated the news cycle for months. It was even a major cause of the longest-running government shutdown in history; lasting a whopping 35 days. Many, if not all, Americans have some feelings regarding this controversial wall.

In January, 200 West students were surveyed regarding their thoughts about the proposed border wall. In response to the question “do you support the border wall?” 64 percent said “no” to the wall, while 11 percent replied “yes” and 25 percent had “no opinion.”

Longtime U.S. Government teacher Troy Carlock shared his thoughts on building the wall, mostly in terms of securing the border from a variety of problems. 

“I do support Congress acting to secure our borders for a whole host of reasons. Number one: it protects our nation against those who would do us harm. Number two: it protects our citizens from low-income workers that would take Americans’ jobs away; not necessarily highly-skilled jobs, but jobs where someone could make a decent living… It would stop a lot of these illicit drugs and illegal activity; sex trafficking, crime,” Carlock said.

Chance Douglas, a West senior, feels that the wall is not a reasonable solution to maintain border security between the U.S. and South America. Douglas, who is left leaning politically, was disturbed that “Trump shut down the government to get the wall.” 

He believes that immigration is an important part of the country, and that even if a border wall were to be constructed, it would not stop the flow of illegal immigration or drugs.

Douglas is glad that many of his friends and schoolmates are from other countries, and is worried that in the future, aggressive governmental policies will stop the flow of new culture and customs from entering the U.S.

Annie Gonzales, another senior, has a different take on the subject.

She is right leaning in her political views, but doesn’t think a border wall will solve anything.

Illegal immigration has been a problem for Gonzales, because she says it affected her parents’ income, and she is concerned how, “If you look at the statistics, it’s crazy, how many people just walk over.” Gonzales believes that increasing the budget for border patrol will more effectively solve the problem, in lieu of a billion-dollar border wall.

West is known for having a very diverse student body, being a varied mix of ethnicity, religion, socio-economic standing, and religion. This kind of diversity is why ideas like the border wall become so controversial and hotly debated.