As per my knowledge, there are only two walls that are famous and popular around the world; one is The Great Wall of China which is 21,196 KM long and the other one is the USA – Mexico Border wall which is a very controversial topic around the world. This issue also created a lot of tensions in both countries. Till date, it is not completed due to many reasons. Now it is a political agenda in the U.S. of all the political parties.
The story of U.S.-Mexico Border Wall started almost a decade ago. The first border fence was built at California border by U.S. Government between 1909-and 1911 to prevent cattle from wandering between the countries. In early August 1918, Felix B. Peñaloza, the president municipal of Nogales, Mexico, ordered for fence running along the boundary line between his city and Nogales, Arizona. He also discussed with U.S. representatives to construct a second parallel fence, to be built by the U.S. But on August 27, 1918, Mexican workers had erected the fence. An unidentified man attempted to cross into Mexico. The customs Inspector of U.S. ordered him to halt, but he did not stop. Officers on both sides of the border raised their guns, and a firefight broke out. About two hours later, at least 12 Mexicans and Americans had been killed, including Peñaloza.
After this incident, U.S. plans for own fence to stop the movement of people across the border. Following Nogales’ lead, officials in Calexico, California, erected a fence that ran two miles along the boundary line there. By the 1920s, fences were a fixture in most border towns.
In the 1940s, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service coordinated with the International Boundary and Water Commission to erect chain-link barriers on the border.
In 1965, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson changes the preference of immigration law where they acknowledge the close relationship of the two countries and aiding a large number of Mexicans who are already residents in the U.S. He signed into law at the foot of the Statue of Liberty and this law is known as the Hart-Celler Act. This law literally changed the face of America. It ended an immigration-admissions policy based on race and ethnicity, and gave rise to large-scale immigration, both legal and unauthorized.
In 1969, U.S. President Nixon launches Operation Intercept. In this operation, he mandates individual inspections of any and all border crossings, plane, car, or foot. Thousands of agents are dispatched to the Mexican border, virtually shutting down illegal immigration by car for the first time.
In 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton began the installation of border fences to restrict the movement of unlawful immigrants and drugs. He mandated the construction of a 14-mile barrier between San Diego and Tijuana. It is projected to cost $39 million.
In 1996, President Bill Clinton signs one more act; The Illegal Immigration Reform and Responsibility Act where the U.S. Government increases fines for illegal entry and approved funding for more patrols and fence construction.
In 2001, the U.S. Government was so strict after the 9/11 attack. At that time, border security was the top priority. Everyone now shows international travel documents when crossing by car or plane.
In 2005, More than one million illegal immigrants were arrested while crossing into the United States from Mexico. More than 500 die crossing.
In 2006, President George Bush signs the Secure Fences act, promising 700 miles of fencing on the border.
In 2010, news published in The New York Times stating that over the previous four years, 51 unauthorized tunnels running under the border walls had been found in Nogales, Arizona, and Nogales, Sonora. They are mainly for drug trafficking, not emigration.
In 2011, The U.S. Government declared that the Department of Homeland Security completed 649 miles of barriers, including 350 miles of pedestrian fencing, at an estimated $6.5 million per mile, and 299 miles of vehicle barriers that cost approximately $1.7 million per mile. But $1 billion spent on a pilot program for “virtual surveillance” in Arizona yields only 53 miles of coverage.
In 2012, The Washington Office on Latin America, a human rights organization, warns that the number of border crossing has doubled since the year before.
In 2014, Central America and South America departed massive numbers of refugees into Mexico. The number of non-Mexicans crossing the border illegally exceeds the number of Mexicans for the first time.
In 2016, A report says that, approximately 11.6 million Mexican immigrants resided in the United States in 2016, about half of them in the country illegally.
In 2017 – President Donald Trump for an increase of 5,000 border patrol agents and 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, officers above the 21,000 already employed. Donald Trump asserts the construction of a new 1,000 miles of wall as high as 55 feet tall through remote. The Mexican government stated that it would not pay for the wall’s construction.
In 2018, President Donald Trump ordered National Guard troops deployed to the border until further progress is made on construction of the wall.
In March 2019, the first funds for the wall were given the go-ahead. A total of $1 billion (about £758 million) was authorized to be sent to army engineers.
The length of the border between the United States and Mexico is 1954 miles (3145 KM) from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean and touches the states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), it expects to have completed 450 miles of “new border wall system” – which includes steel-bollard barriers, all-weather roads, lighting, enforcement cameras, and other technology – and to have started to build an additional 59 miles. An estimated total cost of $18.4 billion. A bitter truth is there, nobody knows that when this wall will be completed and no-one really knows how much it would cost. Everyone has their opinion but there is one more truth that now all the political parties are using this border wall issue in their election campaign and trying to attract more voters towards them.