The idea of making the US borders secure is a good one. Being able to regulate who and what enters the country is potentially good for the economy and will decrease anxiety for those who fear foreigners.
But, will it actually make us safer? Will it actually increase employment? Both are unlikely.
Since 9/11 (16 years ago), Islamic terrorists have killed 123 people on American soil. Most of these were Americans who felt a kinship with the Islamic terrorists and not immigrants. To be sure that is 123 tragic stories over a 16 year period. It is also easy to understand the outrage over the loss of 123 unnecessary deaths. However, there is a bigger problem that is overlooked or just out right ignored.
During that same 16 year period – there were approximately 496,400 American deaths due to firearms. This means you are much more likely (99% more likely) to be killed by another American with a gun, than you are by a terrorist.
I don’t see the same outrage for half a million deaths as I do for the 123 deaths over the last 16 years. But, clearly if Americans really want to be safer, something should be done about firearms. American deaths from terrorists = about 7.7 per year. American deaths from guns (accident or not) 31,800 per year.
Then there are jobs. Undocumented immigrants are taking jobs from Americans – particulalry working class white Americans living in rural areas in the Appalachia and the Rust Belt. Is a border wall going to make more good paying jobs available for Americans?
Many of those out of work white, former middle class workers are stuck. They are living in dying communities where there are no jobs. And for economic or social reasons, they seem to be unable to move to locations where there are jobs. A wall along the border seems an unlikely solution to this problem.
For a relatively small investment from the government or a private organization those people can be mobilized, so that they can move to an area of their choosing, and get training if needed for a new job, or apply their current skills to an existing job. Geography should not be destiny for American workers. However, I don’t see many politicians discussing this.
Building a wall will not prevent, or reduce, terror attacks nor will it significantly increase jobs in a meaningful way for the left behind white workers with low education levels.
Solving these problems – is not rocket science or wall building. It is simple political will.