WASHINGTON/ MEXICO CITY: Many Americans voted for President Trump because of his ‘Wall’ policy, and his promise to finish the border wall between the United States and Mexico.
But almost three years on from his election to President, the fifteen billion dollar wall remains unbuilt and ill-prepared for the massive wave of illegal immigrants flooding into the US.
Critics of the Wall are saying the structure is a waste of money, and that it will have little to no impact on the mass migration of refugees into the USA.
To find out what is really happening at the controversial wall, 60 Minutes was given unprecedented access to US Border Patrol officers in El Paso, Texas. Reporter Sarah Abo witnessed firsthand the problem of an unfinished border wall and the refugee crisis engulfing the country.
Over the past eight months alone, the city of El Paso, Texas, has been flooded by more than 100,000 immigrants – a 1600 percent increase from this time last year. Nationally in the past 6 months over half a million refugees from Central America have flooded into the US. That’s 4600 a day or nearly 200 an hour.
The refugee influx is made up of people from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras where gang violence and poverty is forcing locals to flee to Mexico and then onto the US.
El Paso is a popular crossover point for illegal immigrants because of the many gaps in the border wall in and around the city. President Trump uses it as the perfect example of why construction of the wall must be finished.
But Professor Josiah Heyman, a border wall expert with the University of Texas, says a physical wall between the U.S and Mexico will do little to fix immigration problems.
“You might as well dig a hole in the desert in New Mexico and bury $8 billion in the dirt,” Heyman tells 60 Minutes.
“It doesn’t really solve the problem, the border wall is a political symbol.”
The controversial structure has remained unfinished for years, spanning only a third of the 3000 kilometre long U.S-Mexico border.
While President Trump seems obsessed with fixing this problem, on the other side of the border wall in Mexico, politicians disagree.
Ramon Golinda, a local government Social Development Minister in Juarez, says it is not Mexico’s responsibility to fix President Trump’s problems.
“(To) help Mr Trump to avoid migrants to come into his country, is it our job?” he tells 60 Minutes reporter Sarah Abo.
“Should we be spending the Mexican money to help Mr Trump?” (Source: 9News)