The central pledge of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is essentially a racist pipe dream that will never come to fruition. “I will build a great wall—and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me—and I’ll build them very inexpensively,” Trump has said. “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.” For some perspective on just how insane Trump’s border wall idea is, Digg created a video called “Best of Luck With the Wall” that uses 200,000 satellite images from Google Maps to show what the 2,000-mile wall would look like.
Some construction facts behind a potential U.S.-Mexico border wall:
— It would take over 12 million cubic yards of concrete (three times the amount of the Hoover Dam
— The wall would be greater in volume than all six pyramids of the Giza Necropolis
— It would require 5 billion pounds of rebar
— The wall’s initial construction costs would exceed $25 billion
— Wall engineers would have to work around natural flooding zones and large areas of shifting sands
— Over 1,000 miles of the wall would criss-cross private lands which would have to be purchased or aquired through legal means
Is a border wall is even necessary in the first place?
According to Pew Research, the undocumented immigrant population has been stable at just over 11 million for the last decade and has actually dropped since a peak of 12.2 million in 2007. “The unauthorized immigrant population rose rapidly during the 1990s and early 2000s, from an estimated 3.5 million in 1990 to a peak of 12.2 million in 2007. It then dropped sharply during the Great Recession of 2007-09, mainly because of a decrease in unauthorized immigrants from Mexico,” Pew Research says.
While the U.S. has a better handle on illegal border crossings than Trump lets on or understands, he is also dead on wrong on how undocumented immigrants arrive in the U.S. in the first place. According to Politifact as well as The National Review, nearly half of all undocumented immigrants come by plane and overstay their visas. So, while everyone argues whether Trump will build his wall and who will pay for it, we should discuss whether it will make a difference in the first place.