Global News Government Mexico News Politics South America

Good Decision or Waste of Money? Us Voters on Biden’s Border Wall Expansion

The Biden administration has announced it will build a new section of the border wall in Texas.

The president says he had no choice as the funding was approved under President Donald Trump, but his administration waived federal laws to allow the construction to go ahead.

The move has been criticised by some Republicans, who accuse the president of hypocrisy, and Democrats who say barriers at the border with Mexico are ineffective.

While some voters tell the BBC this is a positive development, others think there are immigration policies that could better mitigate the issue.


A graphic introduces Gabriel Montalvo, 24, a Republican supporter in Pennsylvania

Gabriel, born and raised in Queens, New York, describes himself as a conservative. Immigration reform is his main voting issue.

Building the wall should have never stopped. It was purely a political move to have halted production of the wall while there was already funding there.

The Biden administration ran on the fact that they wanted to be the opposite of the Trump administration in claiming to be more open.

They should have actually used this time, while holding on to the executive office, to come up with reform on immigration policy – if not citizenship, then to get these migrants naturalised.

A graphic introduces Laura Powers, 69, a Democrat in Wisconsin

Laura lives in the “ruby-red heart of Trump country”. Failures of immigration policy concern her.

I was surprised by Biden’s decision. It has the appearance of capitulation and I would be surprised if it was effective. Desperate people with nothing left to lose will find another path.

It also won’t appease the critics who have been screaming for something to be done. It seems like Biden is throwing them a bone to gnaw on.

I think Biden is doing a good job handling the mess he inherited. Immigration issues are thorny and no one has put forth a realistic plan to resolve the crisis.

You would think that a guest worker programme would be a good start, since we have labour shortages all over the country. States could determine how many workers they need, what areas and arrange to move people to the jobs.

A graphic introduces Kathleen McClellan, 68, a Republican voter in Louisiana

Kathleen votes for anti-abortion candidates. She wants border security, but not in the form of border walls.

Our border security and immigration policies are disasters. I don’t think building walls will do much good when our immigration laws are so broken.

You can’t wall in almost 2,000 miles (3,218km) of border. Plus, it’s a bad idea ecologically. Animals migrate too.

We need immigrants for our workforce and that need will increase as the US population ages. It should be easier for decent people to come here to work.

I think we should be looking at Canada’s immigration laws for inspiration. Not everyone who comes to the States illegally wants to remain here forever.

Many simply want to come to work and return home. We should be making that simpler for them.

I’m not in favour of border walls. Border security and sensible immigration laws, yes.

A graphic introduces Isaiah Reeves, 27, a Democrat voter in Tennessee

Isaiah grew up in the rural South and views himself as a progressive who considers Biden a placeholder.

The border wall itself doesn’t deter much in the way of migration. I think it’s a waste of money. But my larger concern is the way in which migrants are treated and deported at very high rates.

Our goal should be to support policies that improve the lives of people in the Americas to create stability and prosperity, to lessen the conditions that drive people to migrate in the first place if we are not willing to provide support for them within our own borders.

My opinion on Biden is largely unchanged by this decision, that being one of tepid support. This seems to be a move based on public perception and pressure rather than sound policy.

A graphic introduces Luke Gordon, 22, a Republican voter in New York

Luke – part of the conservative minority in the north-east – says the “crisis at the border” is one of his main voting issues.

This is far too little, far too late. My perception of Biden is largely unchanged – his policies have fuelled a humanitarian crisis at the border of unprecedented stature.

This initiative to build more border wall is a positive development. A barrier from coast-to-coast would send a signal to the world that America will no longer be taken advantage of, reducing the number of individuals who undertake the perilous journey.

While Biden’s decision to build a portion of wall is a good one, it is almost certainly a reaction to panicked Democrat mega-donors who see the president’s abysmal approval rating on immigration and smell political peril if nothing is done.

A graphic introduces Jack Pribble, 20, a Democrat voter in Michigan

Jack is a politically-active university student who is a left-leaning Democrat.

I disagree with any move to separate humans from each other, even if it is across international borders.

However, I understand that the funding for this portion of the wall was allocated under Donald Trump. While this makes me less angry about Biden’s move to build a section in Texas, it isn’t reason enough to go through with this construction.

I believe that President Biden is under a lot of pressure from right-wing members of Congress, and I know that immigration is a very contentious issue.

All in all, I disagree with this move, but understand that the solution to the immigration crisis is nuanced.

I still believe that Biden has done more net good than net bad during his nearly-three years in office. That being said, this policy could have extreme negative repercussions and Biden should be held accountable for any negative impact that this has.

Source : BBC