By Dan Beaulieu
Herman Cain’s immigration plan involves building a colossal wall well over 700 miles long and 20 feet tall envisioned in the same vein as the Great Wall of China.(link) He completes his vision by incorporating an electrified section at the top of the wall and an alligator moat on the other side.(link) Estimated costs would project at over $50 billion (link) His supporters embrace this idea, but do they really take into consideration what the repercussions could be? Furthermore, do we honestly believe that this expensive and immoral act would actually end illegal immigration?
Allow me to play devil’s advocate for a moment and jump ahead into a future where Herman Cain is president and he has successfully built the magnificent 1,000 mile electrified wall depicted in his grand vision for America. Obviously, one cannot tell the future, but I will offer my thoughts on a post wall future, please keep in mind this is mostly theoretical. Having said that, one cannot deny at least some validity of my forecast as I base them in logic and reality.
How would Herman Cain’s wall affect our relations with the Mexican people or all of Latin America for that matter?
Mexico currently exports between $160 and $200 billion dollars worth of product to America each year (link). Mexico imports about $130 to $180 billion dollars of product from America each year (link) for a combined total of well over $300 billion in trade per year. This is a considerable amount of revenue that directly translates into jobs and wealth for a good number of Americans. Herman Cain’s wall would be a direct hit to our national economy and a devastating blow to southern US ports such as Houston, Texas which conducts about $17 billion in business with Mexico each year. (link)
As Herman Cain’s Great Wall of America casts its shadow over Mexico it waves a blatant tribute to our rejection of her people. Deep resentment of us would naturally arise from the Mexican people. A growing bitterness that, for some, would undoubtedly evolve into hatred. One could be certain that groups of Mexicans would begin to rally for boycotts of American imports and exports, even at their own economic hazard. Those groups would expand.
Yes, wealthy men would prevail and trade would continue but only at a noted deficiency. Certain Mexican companies, especially smaller ones (who rely greatly on local business), would choose to discontinue exports to America as a means to end the boycotts, and the principle could trend.
Imagine if just 10% of companies stopped trading with us on account of Herman Cain’s wall. In this scenario, conservatively speaking, around $30 billion would be lost annually. This directly renders into tens of thousands of jobs lost alone. Now imagine an escalation of resentment on both sides pushing that number to 50%? What would that do to our Nation? To Texas?
Again this is all theoretical, yet plausible.
Travel & Threat
The resentment from the Mexican people, who are now confined to poverty, drug violence and a weakening economy, would be most certain.
Of course American tourists would still safely travel to major cities. It might be wise to stay near the attractions as even in the most tourist friendly areas would be interleaved with some dissent. Seeing wealthy Americans who travel to spend their surplus money; perhaps more in their brief visit than most Mexican families earn in a year. The same Americans who’s detest for the Mexican people is so great that they constructed a monstrous wall to keep them out. Americans would almost certainly meet with violent differ in other parts of Mexico.
During the lengthy construction of such a wall, workers could expect some insurgency from a variety of affected groups ranging from local guerrillas to drug trafficking gangs who see their window for profit closing.
Would it be too difficult to imagine a Mexican extremist? A person so outraged with our actions that they come here by plane and attack our people?
This could become more commonplace than you think. The War on Terror marches on.
Back to reality.
Throughout time mankind has overcome just about every obstacle that has impeded his ambition. The Great Wall of America would be an incentive for such innovation. Although, undoubtedly, there would be a slight fall in the numbers of illegal immigrants this method would ultimately fall short of its intended duty. Unless the wall is made from magic - man will find a way past.
Mexican people will show up in record numbers to vote against Herman Cain.
America was founded on immigrants, our ideas and philosophies were forged through the merging of different cultures. In fact, most of our ancestors immigrated here at one point in time. Our statue of liberty is a symbol of freedom and liberty, not just for the American people, but for all people through the world. The current system, Herman Cain included, has waged war on this philosophy as the illegal immigrant battle has become a racist act of isolationism in its truest form.
What we aren’t fully grasping is the current living conditions that the Mexican people struggle through. Their government either cannot or will not control the drugs and guns, their economy is in shambles and their children are at risk of everything from disease to human trafficking. For the people of Mexico, a better life urgently awaits them in America, yet we demonize them for wanting better for their families and having what we have.
The common argument to this is, don’t come here illegally then; if you want to come here do it on our terms.
I would agree in principle, however, it’s more complicated than that. Currently, the wait time to gain citizenship is over 5 years (link), and that’s if you’re granted citizenship at all. Furthermore, without an attorney it’s highly unlikely to attain citizenship period, which adds a hefty toll to that avenue. So rather than attempting the convoluted and unlikely road to legal citizenship. The preferable choice, as we have made it, is to come here illegally, besides the punishment for doing so is considerably lax.
The unfortunate truth is that this wall wouldn’t be effective at stopping the problem and could potentially cause serious problems with our relations to Mexico and to our already damaged economy. However, there is a much simpler solution to the illegal immigrant problem.
Remove the many attractive incentives that tempt illegal immigrants to come here such as cheap housing, welfare, food stamps, free medical care, tuition, birth-right citizenship, jobs and various other programs, as Ron Paul has suggested. Then if we made the pathway to becoming a legal resident easier, and they were held to the same requirements as we are, the overall immigrant flow would slow down all-together. This method is not only practical but it’s a moral approach as well. It would yield far superior results and be less costly for our nation than Herman Cain’s Great Wall of America solution.