The Border Wall: What Lies Ahead?


Share post:

California’s Border Wall [Pictures provided by the California Border Patrol]

During his first day of office, President Biden had proclaimed multiple executive orders and proposed new legislation in support of his campaign promises. One of the said executive orders was to halt the construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall and directed his administration to study and seek other possibilities for repurposing the project’s funding and construction contracts. Now Biden’s discretionary funding request for the Fiscal Year 2022 includes no additional funding for border wall construction and proposes canceling leftover wall funds from 2021. 

The Trump administration completed more than 450 miles of 18- to 30-foot steel-bollard fencing topped with anti-climbing plates along stretches of the international boundary. Nearly 50 miles of these structures were constructed where no barriers existed. The rest were replacements for less effective fencing. 

Border protection has been a hot topic in American politics since the early 1960’s, with nearly every administration addressing it by increasing security. The largest border-barrier construction campaign came under George W. Bush, whose 2006 Secure Fence Act brought about hundreds of miles of taller steel-bollard anti-pedestrian fencing in urban areas and shorter anti-vehicle structures in unpopulated zones. Barack Obama’s administration completed these projects, and by the end of his first term, 653 miles in total, or about one-third of the U.S.-Mexico line was barricaded with steel and concrete.

Thus, before Donald Trump ever declared his candidacy, or promised to build a wall, the United States’ southern border was already among the world’s most fortified international boundaries.

Trump’s movement is not just simply one of blatant nativism. But the “build that wall” message at the core of his campaign helps explain how a billionaire living in a lavishly gilded Manhattan penthouse appealed to millions of blue-collar White Americans trying to comprehend the country’s rapid demographic and cultural changes during an age of global economic restructuring.

So, what lies ahead? The Biden administration has been studying border enforcement possibilities involving less steel and concrete and more electronic surveillance. Meanwhile, environmentalists are pushing to dismantle sections of Trump’s wall in remote areas to allow the free movement of wildlife. But removing the new barriers entirely would be incredibly expensive, and a future Republican administration might only rebuild them.

The reinforced wall will probably just be an enduring legacy of Trump’s presidency, symbolizing the recurring folly of border policy disconnected from the true historical realities of the border and its migration.

Daniel Gonzalez
Daniel Gonzalez
Daniel Gonzalez, a Senior at Ukiah High, likes to write about the political discourse that happen within the United States. He is also interested in obscure pop culture events that happen daily on a domestic scale. He plays tennis and is apart of the SEAPERCH program on campus. He also likes messing with people on Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Related articles

Ukiah High Wildcats Shine at December Performing Arts Showcase: A Festival of Jazz, Dance, Drama, and Choir Delights

Today, December 8th, 2023, the Ukiah High Wildcats unleashed their artistic prowess at the December Performing Arts Showcase, treating both staff and students to a spectacular feast of performing arts delights!

Cool Car Thursday: 12th Grader Josie Bogner’s Candy Apple Red Jeep Wrangler

Josie Bogner’s 1997 candy apple red Jeep Wrangler sticks out in the Ukiah High student parking lot as one of the most cherry Jeeps on campus. 

Ukiah High Tennis Duo, Muniz, and Jacobs, Clinch 3rd Place in Doubles Tournament 

The Ukiah High News team would like to congratulate Junior Nicole Muniz and Senior Maritza Jacobs, the dynamic single players of the UHS Tennis team. The duo participated and won 3rd place in the annual doubles tournament at Santa Rosa Junior College on November 1st and 2nd.

The Blue Toaster: Ani McKay’s Famous Beach Cruiser—Cool Car Thursday

“I have many memories held within those four doors.”