By Kamden Tackett
When President Joe Biden was running for the presidency during the 2020 elections, he made a solemn promise, “not another foot” was to be built on the border wall between the United States and Mexico. Fast forward three years and this key aspect to his presidential campaign has been reverted, as the POTUS is making plans to actually add onto the Trump Wall.
These plans were announced on Thursday, Oct. 5 during a Biden press release. This is occurring during an absolute surge of illegal migrants coming in from the Mexico-American border, which are mostly military aged men ranging from 18 to 35. Recently, there has been a larger outcry from both sides of the political aisle to get the border under control, as representatives from Texas to New York are calling for the border crisis to be solved.
According to Politico, a middle-left news organization, “In 2021 alone, U.S. Customs and Border Protection experienced 1.7 million encounters with aliens at the southern border, the highest number ever recorded in a single year.” The problem was not solved from there, with 2022 becoming the new highest total in a Fiscal Year at a whopping 2.4 million and subsequently 2023 has had 2.8 million so far, with 9,482 migrants crossing over into the United States since the first of October; a number that many outlets predict will increase in the following months.
On Oct. 5 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would be building about 17 miles of new border wall in Texas, specifically in Starr County, Texas. The New York Times reported “the project is unlikely to have an impact on the number of arrivals along the border, at least in the short term, because the area has not seen a recent surge in migration.” Residents also stated that migrant arrivals have been relatively less frequent in recent times. One resident stated “I think a lot of people have given up. Let’s start at the top: Even Biden said, ‘My hands are tied.’” The overall sentiment in Starr County seems to be one of apathy due to the ineffectiveness and inaction.
The biggest reason, other than sheer volume, (i.e. losing out on jobs, housing, welfare programs) that many Americans are worried about the immigration issue, is the massive Fentanyl epidemic that is sweeping the nation, and the realization that much of where this deadly drug is coming from is over the Mexican-American border. With a total seizure of over 379 million deadly doses of Fentanyl in 2022 alone, it would be an understatement to call this issue massive. The entire population of the United States of America is 331.9 million. There were more deadly doses of Fentanyl seized, this only accounts for the doses we’re aware of, than the entire population of our country. With the biggest exporters of Fentanyl into America being China and Mexico, the crisis at the border takes on new light. It’s not simply wanting more opportunity for the average American citizen, it’s the profound issue that millions of American citizens will die due to the Fentanyl being brought over the border.
Another more fringe reason some Americans are worried is the fact that a majority of the people coming over are military aged men. As the world seemingly collapses in on itself with a war in Europe and a war in the Middle East, many people are antsy and untrusting. Some Americans are worried that the massive influx of military aged men is “an invasion with no war or label.” That upon some sign a genuine war will come from the inside out. This is highly unlikely and would more accurately be a product of the uneasy climate of geopolitics today, yet it is still something being discussed relatively widely, and something I felt obligated to include in the worries of the border crisis.
Ultimately more must be done than constructing a multi-million-dollar wall. In my opinion, doing so is putting a band-aid on a much deeper-rooted issue. If we wish to solve the crisis it has to be addressed at its root. There are many options we could take to mend the crisis at the border, from adding better lines of communication for migrants, new border agents, better technology, or even a heavy lockdown. The solution will more than likely be a combination of any/all of these different approaches, with no one ‘magical’ solution likely. Ultimately, we can only hope the situation is solved sooner rather than later, and that Americans across the country aren’t to drastically affected by Biden’s seemingly failed border.