WASHINGTON – POLITICS – Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives failed to override President Trump’s first presidential veto, effectively upholding the president’s declaration of a border emergency. The decision will provide Trump with more legislative room as he attempts to construct a wall across the United States’ southern border. However, with little evidence to suggest that a border wall will significantly impact immigration to the United States, many are wondering what comes next.
Immigration As It Stands
Immigration has quickly grown to become a hot issue within the United States since Trump was elected into office in 2016. Along the campaign trail, he consistently pledged to reduce immigration to the United States, with his main promise being to construct a wall along the border between the United States and Mexico.
While there are a great number of issues surrounding immigration currently, few would be addressed by the building of a border wall. Border patrol stations along the southern border are suffering from a lack of resources to properly address and assist those coming into the country, particularly those who are ill, injured, or have small children with them. Without addressing the humanitarian issues surrounding immigration, Trump is likely to see continued legislative resistance to his immigration approaches.
The Holes In The Wall
Trump’s border wall plans are not only expensive and incredibly time-consuming if they do come to fruition; they also simply won’t be effective in reducing the rates of immigration into the United States. While the wall might be designed to limit land-based border crossings, the Trump administration seems to be forgetting one of the main paths of entry into the United States: air travel. There are over 19,000 airports, heliports, seaplane bases, and other landing facilities in the United States and its territories, and many seeking to immigrate to the United States enter through these locations.
Attempting to reduce immigration rates via air travel would require far more than the construction of a wall, and any efforts that were made would drastically slow and complicate air travel in the United States, including for the millions of domestic business trips taken annually. U.S. travellers are forecasted to take 478.2 million of these trips annually by 2020, making air travel extremely difficult to monitor in terms of immigration. This is, of course, without addressing the many other ways immigrants cross the U.S. border; many travel by sea, overstay legal visas, and more. Simply put, a wall will do little to limit immigration rates, and failure to realize this is causing a variety of problems with immigration legislation in the country.
The Future Of U.S. Immigration
Currently, the state of immigration within the United States is a frightening one. Under the Trump administration, 18% of the 44,435 individuals detained by ICE had resided continuously in the U.S. for ten years or more, and that one out of four had been in the country for at least five years. Increasing numbers of unlawful arrests, the potential construction of the southern border wall, and general anti-immigrant sentiment make it an uncertain time to be an immigrant in the United States.