Sunday, October 22, 2006

Journal #4 - Should America Build a Wall At the Mexican Border?

In our next unit, we will be studying our immigration history, but specifically, we'll look at the time period of 1880s - 1924 when a huge influx of Eastern and Southern European immigrants arrived on our shores looking for work, land, the American Dream and freedom.

One question that swirls around the current immigration debate is whether or not a 700-mile wall should be built along the 1,952-mile border w/ Mexico. The House approved $2.2 billion for the wall back in December 2005 to "build a double set of steel walls with floodlights, surveillance cameras and motion detectors along one-third of the U.S.-Mexican border." 1 The Senate approved the bill shortly afterwards.

On Thursday, October 26, President Bush signed this bill into law. "Unfortunately the United States has not been in complete control of its borders for decades and therefore illegal immigration has been on the rise," Bush said at a signing ceremony. He called the fence bill "an important step in our nation's efforts to secure our borders." 3 (What's interesting to note about this Yahoo article that I quoted from here is that it can't even figure out how long the southern border of the U.S. is. One part of the article says it's a "nearly 2,000-mile border" while another part of the article refers to the "fence project covering one-third of the 2,100-mile border." Last time I checked, we haven't changed our southern border with Mexico since the Gadsden Purchase in 1853.)

So, what do you think? Does America need this wall? Why or why not? Read the articles on illegal immigration and decide before answering. Check on the links below to read some opinions. Your answer should be 150 words or more. Answer by Sunday night 10/29/06, 11:59 p.m.

1. Article from the San Fransico Chronicle: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/02/26/BORDERFENCE.TMP

2. Diagram of wall taken from website: http://www.dakotavoice.com/images/fence.jpg

3. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061026/ap_on_go_pr_wh/bush_immigration_8

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am uncertain weather or not the United States really needs this wall to be built. There are many different ways to look at and deal with this situation. Some people feel as though that by allowing illeagal immigrants into our country it shows that we have no control. Others feel as though the immigrants are taking away jobs from legal U.S. citizens. However, these illegal immigrants do the jobs we won't do ourselves. If we get rid of these people, new issues will surface such as who will do these job. Some other people view the wall as being stingy and that we are being hypocrites. Back in the 1600s, European settlers invaded America and forced it's natives to leave their homes. In the 1800s, we forced the Native Americans to live on reservations. If that isn't wrong, i don't know what is. In conclusion, I have an opinion about the wall, just that you can't always be narrow minded and shold take the time to look at the situation from both sides.

Elise Lieberman
10/26/06
5th hour

Anonymous said...

I think it is a good idea to build a wall. I have no problem with immigration, everyone on this continent came here from somewhere else and why stop the tradition. The fact is it is affecting more than just the "American Image" which is what immigrants make up, it is causing U.S. citizens to be losing jobs in our own country to people who arent even regestered as citizens. I realize that there are a lot of people in our country that are illeagle immigrants,and i realize they play an importaint role in our society, however we just can't afford people living hre without paying taxes, the taxation system was developed to aid in the countries economy, and if over three million people aren't paying taxes that makes the system less effective and, in time useless.

Joe Cypert
7:51 PM 10-26 5th hr.

Anonymous said...

I believe that America does not need this wall. If we put up a massive wall it’s not going to do anything to keep people from getting in. They will tunnel under it find some way to get over it who knows. We need people watching the border or surveillance cameras watching the border. We need people there not walls. I like how in the diagram there is a motion detector which is something we could use other than a wall. The ditch isn’t really needed but the barbed wire could help. We just need a few things to keep illegal immigrants from coming over not a huge massive wall. In the San Francisco article it says the wall will be intended to keep illegal immigrants out but a wall wouldn’t keep people out. We need more than just a stupid wall. And this whole project will cost way too much money. 2.2 billion dollars for a wall. That’s just dumb.

Jeff Kohl- 6th Hour

Anonymous said...

I think that the United States should build a wall at the Mexican border. Even though the wall will only cover 1/3 of the border, it still provides safety to the American citizens. Everyday, many illegal immigrants are coming to the United States crossing the border. The wall could prevent thousands of immigrants from coming to the United States. The wall would contain a double set of steel walls with floodlights, surveillance cameras and motion detectors. This would prevent illegal immigrants and terrorists from hiking over the border to the U.S. Although the cost of building the wall will be quite expensive, I think that it is worth it for the safety of our country. I believe that immigration is acceptable if it is done the correct way and not done illegally. Many of the immigrants did illegally immigrate but, they stayed past their visa expiration. The future of American citizens is in the hands of the government. If we want to grow up in a country that will protect us from danger, than we need to act now.

Evie C.
6th Hour

Lil E said...

I think that america should build a wall because the mexicans would be crossin over to america illegally and after 9-11 we wouldnt take any risks of any terrorists coming to america trying to kill everybody.We already have enough problems america so we dont wanna cause any more trouble.

So we are just trying to protect ourselves from any further danger to our country.

~eric Wynns~ 5th hour

Anonymous said...

I dont believe we should bulid a wall on the border of Mexico because its not right. The reason it is not right is because that eliminates the chance for a mexican to except poverity and bad conditions. This is also like a american past time with what we did to the indians and how we treated immigrants when they got to american. We treated them like a bad word. Also this is a bad idea because America is already a bucnh of money in debt because of war and past times.

Ian Kohler said...

It is unclear whether the United States really needs a security wall built. There are many different ways to look at and deal with this issue. Some people feel that by allowing illegal immigrants into our country shows the world that we have no control. Others feel as if the immigrants are taking away jobs from U.S. citizens. However, in my opinion, I do not think that America should build a wall at the Mexican border because, historically, America has been a melting pot and such a policy would go against the grain of American history. For example, when more than 1 million immigrants came to America to live a better life and not live in poverty forever, why didn’t America build a wall that would have guarded us from them when they came? We are not treating the Mexicans the way the early immigrants were treated. They are just like the immigrants that came to America in the 1900s.

Furthermore, how would anyone be able to monitor a 700-mile concrete wall with any effectiveness? Also, such a proposed wall targets the southern border, while ignoring the northern border. That implies that the government trusts the Canadian border more than the Mexican border which implies that Mexicans are less trustworthy than Canadians. This does not lead to good neighborly relations and will cause more problems than would otherwise be resolved.

In conclusion, I hope that America will not build this 700-mile wall that will separate America from one of our close allies and neighbors. In my opinion, I feel that if we start to build this 700-mile wall, not only will Mexico be angry but we will start to have a conflict with them. After all, we are in enough trouble as it is now and we do not need more things to happen.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe a wall will be the solution to stopping illegal immigrants from mexico coming to the U.S. From one of the articles that I read the president of National Border Patrol Council T.J. Bonner said: "A fence will slow people down by a minute or two, but if you don't have the agents to stop them it does no good. We're not talking about some impenetrable barrier," I think he would know what would be best for the border. Also the wall that the government wants to build is very expensive and the they do not have the money for it in their budget for it. A person/agent would be a better method in stopping people from crossing the border rather that a wall. Also if people would refuse to hirer illegal immigrants then this would be less of an issue.
Emily Betts 5th hour

ian l said...

i tkink it's really unnessary to have a wall. vincente fox called it "the brelin wall. i agerre. i've been to nogales with a churh group. i've been in the factories. i've been witness to an almost unbearible q & a seasion hard beauce the guy was unable (we all ageeed) anwer questions relieibly so now this wall is puutinng a vurirty stanglehold on our releyions

Anonymous said...

I think that we should build this wall to separate Mexico and the United States. First of all, since this has been a problem for some time, why not just separate ourselves from them? We are currently learning about how our ancestors had to spend weeks on an awful journey towards America in the late 1800's. They had to pass through a certain system, live in poverty, be away from their families with just the hope of strting a new life for their young someday. How unfair is it that while our ancestors had to do all of that, today, there are some Mexicans that smuggled their way out of Mexico, didn't have to worry about passing through customs, or if they were disease-free, like our ancestors did. Second of all, some people use their advantage to smuggle drugs to America. This has been a huge issue for some time now, and while I'm not saying that all of our drugs come only from Mexico but a big portion does. So in conclusion, I believe that we should have a border separating the United States from Mexico for all of the reasons above. Our ancestors had to suffer, shouldn't they?

Stephanie Nagel, 5th hour

Anonymous said...

I don't believe that a wall is a nessesity but stopping illegal immagrants would be a good thing. I personally feel that immagration is ok which is way our government has a set up, or legal, process to allow immagration. For people to immagrate illegally makes me think less of them because they just don't want to take the time to be approved into the U.S., A place that already has a large amount of almost every nationality. At least that's what it looks like from where I stand.
~Jonathon C.~ (5th hour)

Anonymous said...

I think the United States do not need a wall to stop illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants will always try to get to the US and this wall will not be a big problem to them. This wall is also very expensive. It costs 2.2 billion dollars. Who have to pay for that? The American citizen. The US has to think about other ways to stop illegal immigrants. Many paople say that the immigrants steal their jobs, but what kind of jobs do the immigrants? They do those jobs we also need but nobody wants to do. America is a country full of immigrants. We need immigrants but they should be here legally. I think that we should stop the illegal immigration but I think we should think about a better and cheaper solution.

Simone G.
5th hour

Anonymous said...

the wall idea i think is very stupid. personally i think that it is a waste of money. i mean if we build a wall mexicans are going to find another way over to america. whether it is by finding a break in the wall or just breaking the wall down in general. I cannot think of a solution to this problem other than just tighter servalience of the border and more people watching it. although it is so long i believe that things in america should now make it madetory for you to have legal citizenship in america to get a job in america. The wall is a waste of time and money. by the time that the wall is finished their will be a million more hispanics in the united states.

michael mcdonald
6th period

Anonymous said...

I am undecided whether or not the United States needs a wall at the Mexican Border. Comparing this wall to past historical events, like the Berlin Wall, so many people died trying to cross over the barrier. When the government built the wall in Germany, it just made the citizens want to cross over into West Germany even more.
Also, the wall would prevent terrorists from entering the country. With the border control patrolling the wall, it would make the United States much safer at the border. However, most Mexican citizens are escaping poverty or unemployment when they are crossing the border. So,if the United States does put the wall up, our low paying jobs would not get the employment numbers. I really do not believe that the illegal Mexican citizens are much threat to the United States. I think what the United States does need to worry about are the terrorists entering the country.

Leah Cenko
6th Hour 10/29/06

Anonymous said...

I think it is a good idea to build the wall at the Mexican border.I think this is a good idea because not only are the illegal immigrants comming to live here, but they are taking jobs and other things away from Americans. I understand the wall will be expensive, but it is for the safty of our country. If we had the wall we would have customs which would have control over what people bring into the country. Customs would stop problems such as health and drug issues. If we decide to go through with the wall it might be an end to a big problem, so why not try it. In conclusion i believe the wall should be built for Americans safty.

Shayna Stillman
6th Hour

Anonymous said...

I think this is a o.k idea. I like the fact that we are trying to keep illegal immigrants from coming in, but i think that there could be a better way to handle this situation then building a huge wall. But, as long the illegal immigrants stop taking our jobs i'm happy. Because a lot of people have lost jobs lately and we needs those jobs. for example, i know lot's of people of lost a job and i don't want illegal immigrants taking jobs that they could have gotten or in the future a job i may need.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure if we should build a wall along the American/Mexico border. There are reasons why we should and reasons why we do not need it. A wall would help stop illegal immigrants from coming into America. It wouldn’t stop all of them, but it would stop some. Mexicans who were thinking about coming over illegally might see the wall as a hassle and then decide either to immigrate legally, or just stay in Mexico. On the other hand the wall could be a bad idea. If the wall is only going to be one third of the border then a lot of people might just go around it. It would be too hard for someone to go around the wall if they really wanted to get to the United States illegally. The wall would be a waste of money it people are just going to go around it.

--Claire M. 5th hour

Anonymous said...

No, I don’t think that it is necessary to build a wall at the Mexican border. I believe that the border controls should just be stronger. If you strengthen the border control then the problem would be solved. There is no need to go spend billions of dollars on a wall. Building a wall would just be a waste of money and very time consuming. Even if the wall was built somehow immigrants would still find their way to America. In the article it isn’t even sure on how long the southern border is. When you consider investing such a large amount of money on something like this all the facts should be there. America needs to get its priorities straight. Build a wall or not immigrants are going to try and find their way to America, but instead of spending so much money border controls just need to be strengthened.
~Brandi B.
6th Hour

Anonymous said...

I dont believe we should bulid a wall on the border of Mexico because its not right. The reason it is not right is because that eliminates the chance for a mexican to except poverity and bad conditions. This is also like a american past time with what we did to the indians and how we treated immigrants when they got to american. We treated them like a bad word. Also this is a bad idea because America is already a bucnh of money in debt because of war and past times.

~Ralph~

Anonymous said...

I do not feel that the United States needs this wall. Besides, only building it seven hundred miles long will result in many illegal immigrants simply going to other spots on the border. I feel that what Jeff Kohl said was a good idea. Certain things that are a part of the plan could be used, but we don't need the wall. They will find a way around. The U.S. just needs better security (maybe more people) along the mexican border. In addition, when illegal immigrants are caught coming over the border, maybe it would be a better idea to relocate them to a place where they can apply for citizenship before being sent back to Mexico. This way they feel they aren't being ignored. Back to subject of the wall, it shouldn't be built. If we can increase border security with more personnel we would be better off. Building a wall for 2.2 billion dollars would be a waste of money in this situation.

John Ross
10/29/06
6th hour

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, America should not build a wall at the Mexican Border. It isnt fair that the United States is trying to keep people out of the U.S seeing as though our nation was built on immagrants. I believe that the people who want the wall are all hypocrits. I understand that immagrants shouldnt be able to get some of our services such as welfare, but if they do get it, they should pay a fee.

Jasmine Montgomery
5th hour

Anonymous said...

I don't think that the United States needs this seven hundred mile wall. First of all, the wall is worthless. People will always find ways to get in. Secondly, I think that this wall is a waste of money and that the United States should worry about the greater problems that it's facing right now. I strongly think that the United States should spend this money in something more important like the war with Iraq or rebuilding the damage caused from the last Hurricane season. Many people say that these illegal immigrants are taking jobs away from United States citizens but they are taking the jobs that illegal immigrants won't do for themselves. I haven't met many Americans that dream to mow the lawn. Another reason why I think that building this wall is not a good idea is that it is impossible to monitor a seven hundred mile wall. Furthermore, building this wall would deteriorate the relationship that the United States has with Mexico. For the reasons above, I think that a 700 mile wall shouldn't be build along the border with Mexico.

Bruno

Anonymous said...

I don’t think that the United States should build a wall, along the Mexican border, that is 700 miles long. First of all it’s too much money, meaning that the United States could spend the money on something more important, such as medical improvements. If the United States will build a wall along the Mexican border people that want to come in from Mexico will find another way to get the United States. For example they will dig under it or get aggressive and destroy parts of the walls. The United States should just have people watch the area, or have motion detectors with cameras. Furthermore if the United States will build a wall, it might not stand for very long, just like the Berlin wall in Germany did in 1988. To summarize this up, I think it’s a bad idea building a wall, because it will make everything worse than how it is now.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that the United States needs to have this wall built. The mexican immigrants can still get through it. They can climb over the wall or dig a whole under the wall so deep that they can get through. I'm sorry to all the people that like the law or like bush or america. But, i really dont because all the united states has been doing is hurting other countries, which isnt a good thing at all. Plus, just to build a wall its going to cost 2.2 billion dollars. Why waste that much money on a wall, that isnt even necessary.

Rhema Saleh
10/30/06
6th hour

Anonymous said...

I dont think that the US should build a wall on the US/Mexico Border. It seems like an unnaffective way to handle the issue. I think that having a wall there will just give people comfort becuase they have a giant wall there. People will still find ways to get around the wall. I just dont think that 2.2 billion dollars is worth spending on somthing that will make the immigration issue seem solved, even though its not.

Chasey Millar
6th Hour

Martia B. said...

I don't think America should not build a wall because if they do to me that would be a little selfish. I think America should not allow to have illeagal immigrants come into the U.S. but I also think they should make it so immigrants wouldn't be so afraid to come the U.S, so maybe they wouldn't try and sneak in. They could also be more kinder to the immigrants because if they didn't want a better life for themselves they wouldn't go to all the trouble of coming here. I mean we go there to get out of trouble and start all over so why can't they come here and do the same there not hurting anybody so why are we so worried about it yes it takes some money from the government but so what if their so worried about money then they should try and do something about the immigrants but I think it's going a little to far with the wall that's just harsh.

Anonymous said...

To me, building a wall makes no sense at all. I don't quite understand why so many people think that it is going to make a big difference in the amount of immigrants that pass through the border. The large quanities of money that are going into this project could be going into so many more useful and important issues such as poverty, education, and many more. Also as I am aware our country is a large debt, this would be moving in the wrong direction, towards putting more money in the hole. Although the wall could give some people the peace of mind that immigrants will not be able to cross the border, it could be a false security. I know that many American jobs are being taken by the immigrants. From having lived in Michigan my whole life it doesn't affect my life so I am not really aware of how many jobs are being taken in the other parts of the country and it is hard for me to speak from experience. My opinion might be different if I was living in an area that is affected.

-Mariah Van Ermen
6th Hour

Get like me said...

I think we should make the 2,000 mile wall because then it will greatly decrease immigrants and also it will help prevent crime. Prices on goods will go up but that is a small price to pay for more safety and less people in the U.S. even if the fence will be 2.2 billion dollars with cameras and steel and paved roads it will be well worth it. There will also be guards guarding 1/3 of the border of Mexico on the fence to make sure that no one gets past them if they get past the fence. The fence wont be build for a while it hasn’t even been stared yet but I am sure it will be one of the best ideas yet to stop immigrants from coming into the U.S. The fence will create more jobs for American citizens, by watching the roads or build the fence or just sitting in the watch towers so it will be a great asset to the Americans.




Joseph Elia

Anonymous said...

The United States should not build the wall on the Mexican Border. It is a lot of money and even if it is built, illegal immigrants will find another way into America. Although this is focused for illegal immigrants, this would also be keeping any other immigrants out of our country, when all Americans were once immigrants. What is American anyways? We all came from different countries. I feel like this wall would be a waste of money that could be used on something more useful to everyone. How are we certain that this wall is 100% safe? We aren't. The idea of this is to keep illegal immigrants out, but that does the same for legal immigrants.

Madelyn Polzin
6th Hour

Anonymous said...

No, I do not think that America should build a wall at the US-Mexican border. I think this because I feel that Mexicans should have the right to come into America just as many other immigrants did back in the 1800s. They come here for better working conditions, homes, food, and every other common necessity for their families. They want their children to be a lot better than they were. They want to live a better life. Instead of building a wall, I think that America should just have a system set up a system like Ellis Island or Angel Island. I think any of these would be a great replacement.
The fact that it is going to cost so much is also ridiculous. The money that is being spent just to build a wall could really go towards the school systems in the ghettos all around the country. I do hope that they make a better decision on this whole decision.
`~Eboni Bell 6th hOUR

Anonymous said...

I don't think that a wall is needed. I agree with Jeff in saying that we just need more people, not a fence. I think that it would be a total waste of money if we built the wall because I think that people will just find ways to get around it (over it, dig under it etc.) I think that if we get more people and surveillance cameras and stuff like that then we will be able to control the system more efficently than just wasting billions of dollars on a wall that is not needed that would take forever to build all the while there would have to clear out the area for the construction thus making it easier during that time period for illegal immigrants to get in.

Colleen 6th

Anonymous said...

I can say that i agree with both opionos, becuase you could spend billions of dollors to build a wall to try and keep immagrits out but is it really hurting up that much? Are country needs money for education and the increase of povertiy. But if we dont do anything about the problem the provertiy line will increase and more people will be out of jobs. This counrty really cant handle that. We need to put our conrties money into helping the contries instead of trying to keep them out.
Ashley Bones

Anonymous said...

i think that it is a very good idea to put a wall around the Mexican-American border. this is because the rate of illegal immigration to this day is increasing. people want a fresh start from their third world lives. and why not america because it dubs itself as the land of oppurtunity. however there is a bad thing... this wall can possibly be undermined. the immigrants will find another way around. because in soccer they say that when there are too many players in 1 side of the field then that means that the "well is dry" so the immigrants will find another well. this can be both good and bad for us. it lowers immigration rates. but still there will be some immigration. this becomes one of the most interesting features of this future. for us its protect protect protect. for them its find another well. america is thought of as a prize for illegal immigrants. and they will stop at nothing to get the prize.


AUGUST ORLOW - 5th HOUR

Anonymous said...

i think a wall on the mexican border could be useful, but then again it could be unnessary. It could prevent some illegal immigrants from coming to america but poeple are always going to be able to find ways to get over here. so, although it could solve part of the immigration problem, it wont solve all of it. Immigrants are also not a bad thing, they do jobs nobody else wants to do for cheeper. i think they are a vital source in our countrys economy.

Ryan Day
11/07/06
5th Hour

Anonymous said...

I do not believe that it is necessary for the Untied States to build a wall to keep the Mexican immigrants out. The only people that can keep the Mexicans out of the Untied States are themselves. Also the wall would cost close to 2.2 billion dollars, who is planning on paying for that? I think that there are far more important issues to be worrying about. To me the safest plan is to make Mexico part of the United States. If this happens then no one would be coming here illegally and I feel both sides would be happy.

-Kellie Hayes

Anonymous said...

I am uncertain if i am agaist the United States putting up this wall. At first i thought that it was a bad thing for the United States to put up such a wall. I thought that it was bad, because America is called the land of the free and what is stopping the immigrants from getting what they diserve..freedom. But then I thought about how the illegal immigrants are entering our country, some bringing drugs, and illegal substances across the boarder which is just wrong. America already has its own promblems, the war in Iraq, the U.S. trying to stop the terriosts. Trying to keep our country in tacted all by itself, and adding illegal immigrants into the mix just makes everything worse. And plus the amount of money that it will cost to build this wall is just way to much. Right now we are fighting in Iraq and need all of the money that we can get to help out over there, and it does not seem like we are gonna pull our soldiers out of Iraq anytime soon, so that is just one of the reason we should save our money and put it to better costs. But then again if we had the wall which costs around like 2.2 billion dallors just to start we would not have to worry about illegal immigrants anymore, which would help out our country alot so we could focus on the more important things, not saying that it is not important for people searching for freedom to enter our country but it would stop the illegal immigrants, or at least make there less of them coming into the country. So I am uncertain if I am against the wall or for the wall, you could basically argue both sides.

Alexandra Stender
5th hour
10-26-2006

Anonymous said...

I don't think we should build the wall because for one thing we don't really have the money to build one and I don't have any problems with immigrants coming in anyway. Also I don't really see why the immigrants are a problem, I mean, it might of been a problem during the 1930's when there were many coming to New York but for today there isn't a problem. And if we did build the wall, there may be people trying to dig underground and get to the other side, Also people can get on a airplane and fly over the wall, depending how big the wall would be. So I think the wall would be defective.
Ellen Rutila
U.S. History 6th