The wall won’t work

September 29, 2016

Payton potter

Feature Editor | jpp017@latech.edu




“I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively — I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”


To anyone familiar with GOP candidate Donald Trump’s usual rhetoric, this shambling sentence is worth nothing more than a dismissive eye-roll.


For a number of months, a dismissive eye-roll is the only attention I gave to Trump, but after Monday’s debate, it is becoming ever harder for me to shake off these comments.


Not because of the rambling syntax that I will always find laughable, but because I have seen what Trump can do.


I have seen him insult women without penalty; I have seen him disparage entire races of people to the cheers of many; I have seen him persuade the GOP to nominate him for president.


A man with that much influence, and negative influence at that, is not a man I can trust.


So it is time for me to embrace the possibility that Trump may one day sit in the Oval Office. And if he can do that, he can try to build that wall.


On Trump’s campaign website, he details a three-step plan to build his “great, great wall.”


Step one: cut off money transfer services such as Western Union to Mexican nationals who can not prove their lawful presence in the United States. Step two: wait for Mexico to protest the lack of remittances. Step three: tell Mexico the regulation will be repealed if the nation pays $5-10 billion for the building of the wall.


Mexico, ranking second in trade with the United States, boasts the 12th largest economy in the world. In 2015, Mexico received $24.4 billion in remittances from the United States — almost two percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.


Cutting off these remittances would hardly affect the government of Mexico — the ones who, according to Trump’s plan, would be the most affected — but would instead affect individual families.


For many families, these remittances mean groceries, utilities, education and more.


If Trump enacts his plan, families will be the first ones to feel the blow. Children whose lives depend on regular money transfers will no longer be fed. Families who use the money transfers to pay their utility bills will risk losing their electricity and running water. Children will have to quit school and begin working.


I, for one, refuse to take that gamble. I refuse to put children in jeopardy for the sake of a wall, for the sake of protecting American jobs, for the sake of feeling superior to other humans simply because they are from a different geographic location.


Trump’s proposed wall will not work. It will only put children, families and our second largest trade partnership at risk — a risk I am not willing to take.


Payton Potter is a senior journalism major from Farmersville, Texas, who serves as features editor for The Tech Talk.


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