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The Myth of Securing the Border

July 05, 2023 (1 min read)

Everyone from Joe Biden to Tucker Carlson claims we need to "secure the border."

I'm here to tell you why we can't.

First, let's be clear about which border: no one is talking about the Canadian border, the Pacific seacoast border, the Gulf Coast border, or the Atlantic seacoast border.  They mean our border with Mexico.

There are three reasons why we can't "secure" the border with Mexico: geography, political economics and human nature.

Geography: The U.S.-Mexico border stretches 1,954 miles.  Over two-thirds of that mileage is the Rio Grande, and the rest is a mix of mountains and desert in which Tucker would survive for about 30 minutes.  The wall-building folly that began decades ago has foundered on the physical, legal and economic facts on the ground...or the water.  You can't build a wall in the middle of the river, and whatever you build on the U.S. side of the river will encroach on private property, meaning years of eminent domain litigation.  Building a wall in the desert and over mountains is very difficult and very expensive.  Tunneling under or climbing over a wall is easy and cheap.

Political economics: Put yourself in the shoes of a mother in Guatemala whose spouse and children have no work and are threatened on a daily basis by thugs and corrupt police and soldiers.  You would move.

Human Nature: Counterintuitively, the world is not rushing to our doorstep.  Most folks on the planet want to die where they are born.  They like the food, the language, the weather, the culture, being close to family, etc.  But when pushed by war, famine, natural disaster, a failing economy and/or political oppression, folks will move.  And there will always be a few brave souls who just want something different out of life.

Now, I could have larded this post with many links and/or footnotes to studies and photos proving my point.  But if you agree with me, you've already read those studies and seen those photos.  If you don't agree with me, all I can say is, go to the border, live there for many months, talk to the locals and then check back with me.

Meanwhile, here's a picture of a kitten.

Copyright 2023 Daniel M. Kowalski, all rights reserved.