Over the years there has been a level of belief perseverance in the United States that one of its neighbors to the south, Mexico, has been the cause of some of their major security concerns. This has led to years of debates in successive regimes to find ways to mitigate these security situations that stem out from the U.S.-Mexican relations. One of the measures that were seen to resonate with the vast majority of the population was the creation of a major wall that safeguarded the US-Mexican borders. The construction of the wall begun and stalled but the election of President Donald Trump has led to the re-emergence of the debate within the political scene. This was among the issues he raised during his campaigns that were seen to be full of obsessions about Mexico and its nationals.
The construction of the wall is estimated to be close to $15 billion and this would have a tremendous effect on the economy of the United States. Nonetheless, the Trump regime has assured the country that it would ensure that the funds to build the wall would be obtained from Mexico. The Mexican president has dismissed this point and has stated that Mexico was not going to pay for any wall. With as much as the wall seems to have positive ramifications on the United States, the ripple effect are much more. This paper seeks to explore the implications of the proposed border wall both on the United States of America and Mexico.
The idea of building a wall between the US-Mexican borders is an idea that will greatly affect the standing relations of the two North American countries. The President of Mexico, Pena has reiterated the stand the previous regime had concerning the wall. They have refused to ‘pay’ for the wall that the Trump regime seeks to build at their border. Mexico has been quoted alleging that America had the right to institute any measures it felt like to protect their domestic interests but should be mindful of extinguishing the existing international relations between them and other states.
The erection of the wall between is bound to have a counter-instinctive effect on a number of aspects. The first one relates to drug trafficking. The wall is bound to increase the strength of the narco-cartels which traffic drugs from Mexico to the United States. The war on drugs between the two countries has been fruitful in recent times and the seizure or death of 33 out of the 37 notorious narco-leaders has been attributed to the joint efforts by both states to end the drug menace. The building of the wall and the sour international relations are what the drug traffickers need and would be beneficial to their trade since the joint task forces would not be as effective as before. The drug lords will be able to seize the opportunity and look for loopholes within the ‘border wars’ in order to perpetuate their business.
The narco-trade also relies on the basic business principles of demand and supply. What this means is that an increase in the security apparatus at the U.S- Mexican border would reduce the supply of the narcotic substances thereby increasing the demand and consequently the price of the drugs due to the higher risks involved. The drug trafficking business will, therefore, become more lucrative since the market in the United States will have a considerable amount of people who want the drugs but the people that will be able to provide them will be limited. The border wall is bound to have an increase in the number of law enforcement agencies on and around the border by around 5000 officers. This, in turn, means that there would be an extra 5000 pair of possible hands that can be bribed to ensure that the drugs penetrate the American market. The drug traffickers will take advantage of this fact to ensure that their business continues to thrive.
Another activity that has been rampant at the border has been the illegal immigration of Mexican nationals to the U.S. This vice has been going on due to the fact that some of the Mexicans believe that in the prospects of better livelihoods in their northern neighbor. Most of the people who wish to come to the United States lack the necessary paperwork to warrant their stay within the country and this has left a void to be filled by middlemen who facilitate the trafficking of people across the borders. The human trafficking racket has been milking almost every last cent on the Mexicans who want better lives in the U.S and the border wall will not deter the stakeholders in the trade but will only affect the Mexicans who require the service. This is due to the fact that the traffickers have very closely-knit relations with immigration officials on both sides of the divide and always come up with innovative ways of circumventing the operations that are targeted to net them. The border wall will give them the opportunity to adapt and change their tactics and strategies.
The president’s move to sign the executive order that enforces his promise to build a wall on the U.S-Mexico border is likely to infringe on the civil liberties that are enshrined in the American constitution. The president has further threatened to remove the funding for states that protect the rights of its population without evaluating their status to identify whether or not they are immigrants. Such a move to threaten democratically elected leaders with sanctions only serves to curtail the freedoms that the country has been fighting for all these years. The enthusiasm with which the Trump regime has enforced its election promise seems to be intuited by ethnic and racial prejudice towards a particular group of people. Some of the notable groups are the Mexicans, the Africans, and the Muslim groups. The Department of Homeland Security has a history of infringing on the rights of immigrants that seek asylum to the country through racial profiling and abusing them. These immigrants are often incarcerated yet their purpose for coming to the country was to seek refuge. This out rightly infringes on their civil liberties. The border wall is likely to be a manifestation of these acts which were initially only witnessed in isolation.
The proposed border wall will serve as a major stumbling block to the trade relations that are between Mexico and the United States of America. The two neighboring states have ratified a number of trade treaties to cement their relations. The most notable one is the North American Free Trade Act that sought to enhance free markets between Mexico, Canada, and the United States. The substance of the agreement will be violated since there will no longer be free trade between Mexico and America that sought to allow the movement of people, goods, and services in order to foster the economic relations. It would contrary to the objectives of the treaty that was signed in 1994 and consequently it would: impose barriers to the trade relations, reduce fair competition, and would not provide ways of cooperation.
Trump has also sought to amend some of the provisions of the NAFTA and has threatened to remove itself from being Mexico’s arbiter in relation to trade affairs in the event that the state did not comply with the amendments put forth. This seems as a means to exert undue influence to coerce Mexico to consent to some trade policies that they do not fashion. The wall is also likely to lead to an influx of the illegal Mexican goods that will be smuggled passed the border points in order to avoid the payment of the high taxes that they are supposed to be subjected to. This will deprive the government the revenue that it would have collected. With as much as the goods will be taxed, they are going to retail at the same price as thought they were taxed and the general public is going to suffer the brunt of these policies by their government.
Other vices that have been witnessed at the border include the trafficking of firearms, violence, and terrorism. The governments’ push to have a border wall is mainly to protect its citizens against the aforementioned vices that are believed to be occasioned by immigrants who come from Mexico. The border might provide some safeguards to mitigate them but they would not adequately curtail their existence. This is due to the fact that most of these vices are often perpetuated in cohorts with some of even the senior members of the law enforcement agencies.
The perpetrators of firearm trafficking often acquire some cloned cars that are almost similar to the ones either used by the DHS or the border patrol and some of the traffickers also masquerade as law enforcement agents in order to give them unlimited access in and out of the country as they ply their trade. This has led to the increase in the number of illegal and unregistered firearms within the country leading to massive insecurity and is deemed to be the precursor of some of the terrorist activities that have been occasioned within the country. Some of the gang and turf wars in Mexico mostly in relation to narcotics have often spilled over to the American side of the divide leading to the loss of innocent civilians and destruction of property. The wall will have an effect on reducing some of this spillover violence since there will be no through the way.
The Mexican government, contrary to all the negative remarks Trump made against them, has been quoted stating that it was ready to work with the current United States government to expand their relations that have stood for years. One of the major issues that had been at the center of the whole border wall debate was the effect the wall will have on the NAFTA trade relations that has been existence between the two countries. President Trump has opted to seek the renegotiation of the terms of the trade pact in order to remove the imbalance that has been created that puts Mexico as the biggest beneficiary of the policy. The United States have also threatened to disband the trade pact all together in the event that Mexico fails to adhere to their demands and also threatened to withdraw from the arbiter role it plays in relations to Mexican trade relations. Mexico’s response to this would possibly to seek redress to the World Trade Organization due to the breach of various treaties that relate to trade by one of the member states. Mexico could also cite the United States for frustrating trade relations between them by putting stumbling blocks through its foreign policy. A classical example would be America’s push to pass a law that imposes an additional 20 percent tax on exports to the country and issuing rebates on tax for exports. This is a move that has been deemed as the way to make Mexico pay for the exorbitant cost of building the close to 15 billion dollar wall. With as much as Mexico exports a considerable amount of products and services to the United States, it might be forced to look for other trading partners in order to avoid the malicious tactics that the current regime in the U.S are putting in place. The Mexican government is also planning to counter the punitive policies of the U.S by imposing high premiums on their visas and also putting in place high tariffs on products and services from the United States.
The general elections that are set to take place in 2018 in Mexico are bound to contain the border wall issue as some of the selling points for the incumbent president and his prospects for reelection. President Pena needs to maintain a firm stand on the matter and not be seen to heed to pressure the American government to dictate the NAFTA terms and other trade relations with the country and using the border wall as a bargaining chip. His resilience amidst pressure would depict him as a man worth his salt and the Mexican electorate would re-elect him to continue fighting for their interests. The border wall issue is likely to affect the economy of Mexico but the government needs to be unperturbed in order to maintain its autonomy and sovereignty before the general public and the world at large.
In conclusion, the current regime needs to look at the ramifications of their decision before fully actualizing it. With as much as the move to put in place, a wall at the border seems to be due to the interests of the country, the negative implications exceed the positive ones. The supremacy battle at the supranational level exposes the weakness in the American and the Mexican side which will be exploited by some of the adversaries who wish to propagate havoc in both states. The U.S government, therefore, needs to liaise with their counterparts in Mexico in order to improve the security at their border and consequently enhance the trade relations between them.