Since taking office, President Donald Trump has made a concerted effort to make our country safer. One of his main focuses has been securing our country’s border. Back in March, he released a 2017 budget giving Border Patrol agents $1.5 billion in federal aid to make necessary repairs along the border and to begin planning construction. He told them that in 2018, they’d receive even more money.
Earlier this week, Trump released his budget proposal for 2018. In it, he asked Congress for additional funding to begin building a wall, fulfilling his original promise to immigration officials. He also hinted at possible changes to our immigration policies in the future.
According to reports, Trump’s newest budget proposal is asking for a $2.6 billion for border security. Specifically, he’s looking to get $1.6 billion to go directly towards building the wall, $300 million to hire and train additional Border Patrol agents, investigators, lawyers, and other staff, $239 million for aircraft to assist officers at the border, $202 million for vehicles, radios, weapons, and computers, $197 million for surveillance technology, $111 million for road construction and repair along the border, and $109 million for inspection equipment at border entrances.
Homeland Security stated that they plan on using the $1.6 billion to build news walls as well as repair old ones. They told reporters that in total, they expect to build 32 miles of a new wall for $784 million, 28 miles of levee wall for $499 million, and 14 miles of replacement wall for $251 million. This means that each mile of border wall costs roughly $24.5 million, which is four times the cost of the fencing already there.
Once our border is secure, Trump has suggested that he plans on reforming our immigration system. “Once the net effect of immigration on the federal budget is more clearly illustrated, the American public can be better informed about options for improving policy outcomes and saving taxpayer resources,” stated the President in his proposal. “In that regard,” he continued, “the budget supports reforming the U.S. immigration system to encourage: merit-based admissions for legal immigrants, ending the entry of illegal immigrants, and a substantial reduction in refugees slotted for domestic resettlement.”
This is a significant change to our current immigration system, which prioritizes people based on need rather than merit. Currently, only the neediest get into our country. Trump wants to change that and make sure that the most skilled are the ones that get to come. Doing this would help our economy significantly by reducing the number of immigrants getting government assistance.
In addition to funding a border wall, Trump is also asking Congress for $1.7 billion to “hear immigration cases, keep illegal immigrants in detention during their proceedings, and then deport them when they’re ordered removed.” Doing this would make it much easier to remove dangerous people from our country.
Some on the left argue that the costs associated with addressing illegal immigration outweigh the benefits. However, this is simply not true. Countless lives have been lost at the hands of illegal immigrants. In some cases, the people are killed intentionally. For example, Irwin Gomez-Colon, an undocumented alien, allegedly raped and murdered a mother in front of her 4-year-old child. When police arrived at the scene, they found her lying in a pool of blood, riddled with over 20 stabs wounds with her child crying next to her lifeless body.
However, in other instances, some illegal immigrants, such as Eustacio Gregorio-Meza, kill people unintentionally. Earlier this month, Gregorio-Meza cut off Kenneth Scott Mahr, an 18-year-old teen on a motorcycle, while pulling out of a parking lot. Mahr smashed into the side of his car and flew from his bike. Paramedics rushed him to the hospital and tried to save his life. Unfortunately, they were unsuccessful. Mahr died shortly upon arrival.
In both situations, the victims would still be alive if we had a more secure border. They were killed by people who should’ve never been in this country in the first place. While it’s true that not all illegal immigrants are dangerous, those who harm others ruin it for everyone else. As a consequence, they should all be deported. We already have enough problems to deal with coming from people born and raised in this country. There’s simply no need to add to our current problems.
Conservatives should urge their representatives to approve Trump’s budget. Doing so will help provide our Border Patrol agents with the money and support they need. This, in turn, will lead to a more secure border and a safer America.