I grew up in California, right next to the largest land crossing in the western hempisphere. Growing up in San Diego, as a second generation immigrant, I know better than most the struggles and plights of the immigrant community. Some supporters of the wall point to the San Diego border crossing at San Ysidro, which I previously mentioned. These supporters say “Look at San Diego! They wanted a wall and look what it has done. It has prevented crime from happening and drug trafficking has gone down.” First, this is a false narrative. The border crossing is exactly what it means: a crossing. It is used to direct pedestrians who cross to and from Mexico who are US Citizens who work in San Diego, but live in Tijuana. Same goes for the cars going across. The structure was primarily built to provide a structural and organized system to properly screen security threats of people crossing, as well as ensure people who legally work and live in both countries are able to get to and from their destinations in an orderly fashion. Moreover, the border crossing at San Ysidro/Tijuana provides a very important economic infrastructure support to communities on both sides of the border. Yet, there are people who do try to smuggle contraband across and are able to get through this legal port of entry without detection. So just because there is a physical barrier at the border of San Diego and Mexico, doesn’t mean it’s going to stymie drug trafficking. Moreover, I suggest people who push this false narrative, go visit the other border crossings in California, like at Tecate or Calexico. They are not nearly as big as the one in San Diego, and less drugs get across at those small checkpoints. I now live in Nevada. Nevada has a very dense immigrant population, specifically from Mexico. So this issue is very important to many people here. A wall, even if it is steel slats, is nothing but a structural creation meant to fix a systemic problem. Moreover, the optics of a wall doesn’t comport with the values of the Declaration or Independence, the US Constitution, or the inscription on the Statue or Liberty. Yes, we need to have borders that are secure. But the way that occurs is by addressing endemic social and economic issues in the northern triangle countries, as well as refortifying our current structures on the border, and hiring more border patrol agents so our borders are properly staffed. That’s how you fix a systemic issue using social and economic solutions COUPLED with infrastructural investments. Not the other way around.