You’ve probably heard the claim that border walls do not work because of the many cases and ways in which existing border walls can be breached. Critics state that it is irrational to have a border wall since illegal immigrants can use a ladder to climb them, rappel, tunnels, airplanes, or many other creative ways in which it can be breached. However, we will explore the inconvenience of these techniques and a demonstration of the faulty logic of this form of argumentation.
First, we ought to consider how feasible it actually is to actually carry out any of these presented plans. Starting with ladders, right off the bat we know that an 18-30 feet border wall would require a big ladder which would be a massive inconvenience since Illegal immigrants already carry gallons of water and backpacks since they have to walk for days in order to reach their destination. It is also really hard to pull a ladder that heavy into the other side to go down. While a jump on that height can be quite dangerous. Twisted ankles, broken bones, or even concussions are possible through this method which we know it already happens.
A form of rappel has been suggested as an alternative option since it is easier to carry it both ways, although one stumbles with the same problem of fall hazard. Plus it may require some skill to maneuver a safe and effective throw. Rappel may require a trained better than average grip strength, which is quite uncommon in adult women. Especially hard while carrying several pounds of extra weight and maybe even children.
When it comes to airplanes, it may be easier said than done. Fabrication of airplanes would require extra hustle, cost, inconvenience, secrecy, and of course dangers related with falling. All of which would in turn reduce the amount of illegal immigration by natural economic principles of supply, demand, and cost. All of which together would be proof of the effectiveness of border walls.
As we have explored the inconvenience of these methods, the question still remains; is the existence of even a small percentage of success in the case of circumventors proof that border walls do not work? I would argue a no for the reason that no wall whatsoever is going to be 100% effective. Not just border walls. But cell walls, our skin as a body wall, tree bark as a protection mechanism, house or room walls, burrows, shelters, and any other form of protection from external threats that assimilate the idea of a wall. The idea being that these are useful in filtering many threats even though we can think of different ways to breach these defense mechanisms. Let’s dive into a few of the previous examples.
If we apply the same logic to the idea of the skin as a protective wall against external threats to our immune system and internal organs, we would then argue that we should not have skin as a protective wall because our health can still be breached in many ways such as food poisoning, getting stabbed, falling off a tall bridge (or from a border wall), getting eaten by a bear, a poisonous plant, an object falling on our head, and thousands of other ways to die. Furthermore, we know that our skin is useful in many ways such as keeping harmful microbes out, is a protective barrier against hazardous substances, and mechanical, thermal, and physical injury. It reduces the harmful effects of UV radiation. Helps regulate temperature as an insulated barrier that can keep excessive heat or cold out among other uses. Of course we see that these many uses are more than enough reason to have skin as a protective wall, no one in their right mind would think that this argument presented by opponents of border protection would ever be considered rational if applied to the skin example. To establish this point even further we will also use the same idea but with a burrow.
A burrow works as a defense mechanism for rabbits, in the sense that it provides a defensive wall against threats such as coyotes and other predators. If the logic of opponents of the border wall is applied, then the argument will imply that rabbits shouldn’t dig their burrows since there are ways in which threats may render the burrow as ineffective. One could make the claim that maybe floods, earthquakes, a snake, or a creative human may easily overcome the defense mechanism. However, rabbits still build burrows because they work. They work in the sense that they are useful in keeping coyotes, foxes, owls, hawks, eagles, falcons, wild dogs, feral cats, and other predators out of reach from the rabbit. It can also help them with rain, deadly temperatures, shelter, and food storage. By now it should be clear what the refutation is about. Simply pointing out how flaws in a border wall does not render them useless nor keep them from being a great option to serve with many uses and benefits.
Some commonly overlooked benefits of the border wall can be saving lives and saving women and children from rape and physical abuse. As some stats show, ranges from 10% up to around 60% are reportedly sexually abused or assaulted during the migration journey. The border wall functions as a disincentive for women and children to not take the risk. It would make cost and difficulty higher thus it naturally dis-incentivizing people through economic principles such as the reduced supply of the coyote service, decreased demand, increased cost, increased risk, and inconvenience. All of which would naturally reduce the amount of women and children suffering sexual abuse or dying in probabilistic terms. In addition, this will reduce the revenue of criminals since cost will be increased depending on the method used to cross, and also due to the decrease in customers (immigrants) trying to cross illegally. Because of these and many other benefits such as decrease in drugs, entry of criminals, a less competitive job market, less border robberies, less government expenditure, among others. It is worth it to have a border wall as mechanism of defense regardless of breach being a possibility.