‘All the reasons why I think Trump’s border wall is a waste of time’

Dec 16, 2019
Forget your border wall, Mr President, I have a better idea," says Brian. Source: Getty Images
The last 12 months have been great for raising the voice of the over-60s community at Starts at 60, something we feel strongly about doing. During the next few weeks we are celebrating the blogs that resonated with readers the most throughout the year. This blog is one of our Top 30 blogs for 2019.

There’s Hadrian’s Wall, the Great Wall of China, the Berlin Wall and now… the United States/Mexican Border wall. I have to wonder what US president Donald Trump doesn’t understand; walls don’t work!

I’m quite perplexed that an elected (and, according to him ‘intelligent’) president hasn’t taken a look back through the history books to determine this.

The Mexican border issue is not unlike any border issue around the world. Australia is a classic example. Boat people? Sure, we’re all boat people right? In a sense. Yet, our ‘wall’ (our coastal borders) has been our main immigration issue — good, bad or indifferent — for years!

I wonder why we need physical walls between countries when our so-called ‘modern societies’ have all the systems in place to ensure people only get benefits they are entitled to if they have a legal right to be in another country. Want a job, but weren’t born or raised in our country? Show your legal right to work here. Need medical, legal or other assistance? Show your legal right to be here. Think you are eligible for a pension or some other sort of financial benefit? Prove it by supplying the right documentation.

While we all know we have illegal immigrants in our countries for many reasons — visa overstayers being just one — the basics are show the legal papers that prove you are entitled and eligible.

Walls do not work. Money should not be wasted on trying to erect one.

People will always find a way around them. They are simple, basic, almost naïve ‘physical barriers’ that may slow or even stop some incursions, but they are not the answer to illegal immigration or border transgression.

I’m no ‘international migration guru’, but I’d like to see governments offer incentives to wannabe immigrants along the lines of “We appreciate you wish to live in our country and hope that you will be able to soon. We have jobs for people willing to work. We have government assistance programs for those in need. Our priority is for our current citizens, but we always welcome people from all cultures who are willing to help support our many diverse communities. Just make sure you declare yourself as an ‘immigrant without papers’ (as opposed to an illegal immigrant which has negative connotations)”.

My proposal would be to have all ‘self-declared illegal immigrants’ be given, for example, 12 months to front up, do the necessary paperwork and then in the following 12 months prove they are working legally, are paying taxes etc. and are involved in the community. In other words, if you want to migrate to our country, illegally, prove you are who you are! There may be other caveats in the process, but you get the basic idea I hope!

I’d like to think it would work. I’d like to think it would empower people to think beyond ‘invading’ a country. It would certainly be a lot cheaper than building a billion-plus dollar wall that can easily be physically overcome. Such thinking might then introduce a new approaches into what is currently a very narrow focused avenue to what is ultimately human ingenuity.

Walls only make humans resistant, instead of embracing and encouraging them to participate in the community around them. Just a thought.

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