The fact anyone in America can think a border wall will significantly solve our immigration issue is a bit hard to believe for anyone who has spent time there and actually studied the issue.
I started my journalism career on the US/Mexico border working at a television station near the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Arizona.
While there I did endless stories from the border: From the controversy of humanitarians leaving water on trails in the desert, to massive immigrant deaths in the 110 degree summer weather, to covering federal officials, including former Attorney General John Ashcroft who spoke about the “life threatening and oppressive conditions that confront people trying to illegally cross the border.”
What was always clear to me, and anyone else that actually worked near the border, is that a “wall” was a 1950’s solution, and not working in the modern era.
A wall is meant to be dug under or climbed over.
And that’s exactly the reality of what’s happening.
For two and a half years I did countless stories of tunnels being discovered underneath the border wall.
This hole, found in San Luis, Arizona – 30 miles south of Yuma – was dug under a former Kentucky Fried Chicken.
It could have easily been overlooked as just another deteriorating aspect of an abandoned fast-food restaurant, had authorities not known better.
After the building’s owner, Ivan Lopez, was busted at a traffic stop, where he was found with more than 325 pounds of illicit drugs, authorities searched the building.
They discovered yet another underground tunnel to Mexico.
This one used for drug smuggling – specifically $1 million worth of cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl and heroin.
The wall didn’t stop it.
San Luis Police Chief Richard Jessup said the area is growing too quickly for authorities to check everywhere.
Jessup pointed out there was already a border wall that spanned far beyond San Luis city limits, comprised of not just one, but two 20-foot-tall fences.
One ran along the actual border and another ran parallel to the first, about 50 yards north.
Tunnels can be difficult to detect without sophisticated equipment or intelligence that keeps law enforcement officers one step ahead of the cartels who build them.
It should be clear to anyone paying attention that if you’re going to spend billions of dollars on border security, technology is the key.
And if you don’t want to go under the wall, you can always climb over it.
This revealing video shot by a Mexican film crew filming along the border in Nogales, Arizona, captured just how easy it is to scale a wall and enter the country.
Carolina Rocha, a reporter for Mexico’s Azteca Noticias, was filming a segment for a story about the U.S. Border Patrol when her crew was interrupted by two men scaling a border fence to arrive on the American side in broad daylight.
The men — wearing black T-shirts and jeans — had packs strapped to their back, leading many observers to speculate that they were smuggling drugs.
The men were able to use gaps to grip the nearly 30-foot-high wall, which is already considered one of the most guarded borders in the United States.
Once on the ground, men scurried for cover, coming increasingly close to the journalists until they realized they were being filmed.
They turned around and went right back up the wall into Mexico.
This is the reality of a border wall: A climber with a rope can hop it in less than half a minute, and drug cartels with jackhammers can tunnel under it with relative ease.
Donald Trump’s push for the physical appearance of a wall on thousands of miles along the border is just politics, and does not make any practical sense to any expert.
The fact so many Americans think the symbol of a wall is more important than reality is a poor reflection of our nation.