While it’s true that criminals and drug traffickers exploit holes in our border security, the picture Trump paints doesn’t line up with the reality of the very real crisis we are facing.
First, according to the Center for Migration Studies, in 2016 and 2017, 62 percent of the newly undocumented had overstayed their visas, and 38 percent had crossed the border illegally. CMS reports that “visa overstays have significantly exceeded illegal border crossings” for seven consecutive years.
More to the point, the immigrants swarming the border aren’t primarily Mexican anymore, but Central American. They aren’t single Mexican men looking for work but rather families, often with a dismayingly large number of children in tow. They’re bringing kids to take advantage of asylum laws. And because they are requesting asylum, they aren’t trying to sneak in; they’re seeking out border officials to file paperwork.
By definition, a wall would not stop any of that.