Useless Border Wall Yet Another Distraction from Policy Failures
CHICAGO – January 9, 2019 – Last night President Trump claimed there was a “crisis” at the US-Mexico border, an attempt to build support for the construction of a $5.7 billion border wall. Oscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza Americas, issued the following statement in response:
“The crisis at the US-Mexico border was created by decades of failed US policy and exacerbated by the Trump Administration’s gross mishandling of asylum claims from families fleeing for their lives. Attempting to “wall off” this crisis with a $5.7 billion barrier does nothing more than divert resources from the important work of advancing legitimate public safety goals and addressing true security threats. US taxpayers—including immigrants, refugees, and asylees—deserve a better return for their money.
Despite Trump’s claims, a border wall will do nothing to keep us safe. While terrorism, drugs, and illegal arms are legitimate security concerns, statistics point to domestic culprits: most criminal acts, including terrorism on US soil, are homegrown. A wall will not solve the US government’s botched response to the healthcare epidemic of drug addiction. Nor will it address the unchecked access to firearms across the country that claimed nearly 40,000 lives in 2017.
Perhaps most saliently, a wall will do little to address the real humanitarian crisis brewing at the border. Instead of investing resources in a wasteful border wall, the White House should immediately bolster its capacity for the orderly processing of asylum, as mandated by US and international law, rather than setting up systems to delay and deter that process. Longer-term solutions include supporting democratic institutions, tackling impunity, ensuring and protecting human rights, and addressing economic inequality in Central American communities.
The atrocities that have uprooted Central American asylum seekers from their home are indeed unsightly, but President Trump’s attempt to wall off the U.S. from its complicity in creating this mess is unconscionable.”
Alianza Americas is a network of 50 immigrant-led organizations representing more than 100,000 families across the United States. It is the only US-based organization rooted in Latino and Caribbean immigrant communities that works transnationally to create an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable way of life. Learn more at alianzaamericas.org.