Is there a need for a border wall?

As a Michigan teacher, I remember migrants coming every fall to pick produce. They were welcomed, and schools provided bilingual services to their children. “Illegal” or legal wasn’t discussed. We needed these good workers.

A friend was the accountant for a landscaping company. Their migrant employees had to provide a Social Security number to get a job, one likely illegally purchased on the black market. These workers were well suited to the hot, physical work. My friend commented that these employees paid Medicare, Social Security and income taxes that they would never benefit from. This money went into the system for someone else’s use.

Everyone “agreed” to look the other way, as needed workers arrived, did the work well, and companies and consumers benefitted.

This went on for decades until 2008, when the crash happened. Then I remember, suddenly, the 

“illegals” were taking all our jobs and hurting our economy.

Did we collectively forget the Wall Street shenanigans? Did we not understand how automation had taken over many jobs?

But, Trump took this argument, infused it with racism, and rode this idea into “Build the Wall.”

What are the facts about what IS happening at our Southern border?

Beginning in the Obama administration, the number of foreigners crossing that border has DROPPED.

Contrary to Trump’s rantings, the majority of illegal drugs come across regular borders, smuggled in, hidden from view. 

Statistics show that immigrants commit LESS crime than the average American.

Experts state that installing and using better technology would be more effective than a wall—and a lot cheaper.

So here is the question: do we use real facts and informed dialog to point our country in the right direction, or do we spend billions of dollars on a border wall? 

—Carolyn Medland