For quite a while now 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump has brought up our neighbor to the south, Mexico into the conversation about potentially building a massive wall between the both of us. Most of us acknowledge (or at least I would hope so) that the United States was built on the foundation of immigration and that it is exactly that which has made the United States into the empire it is today. With the help of foreigners and immigrants the U.S. has achieved great things on many levels. We have so many people from different backgrounds, races, and nationalities who bring good and some bad which help define us as a nation.
The American empire just like the Roman Empire has reached a tremendous amount of power on a global spectrum not only from their foreign acquisitions, but from the foreigners themselves. It is interesting how most nations want to take something from others, but they do not want to give anything away or expose themselves to potential dangers. Of course no nation wants to jeopardize their economic, political, or national safety for the sake of including “others” because that is how it is most of the time. In a way it is hard to want to allow and give foreigners like in Mexico’s and the United States’ case the respect that they deserve. There is always that specific idea that outsiders are inferior and that they should be treated in an inferior manner will less respect because they are that, outsiders.
When Donald Trump made a remark on Mexicans and said that, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They are sending the people that have lots of problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people”, it got me thinking a lot because most of us are not what he makes us to be. Here the idea of an empire is brought up. Trump believes that by building this wall the United States will be able to protect themselves from these “awful” immigrants which only come to take up resources and bring crime, which I believe is not entirely true. What nation and empire wants to feel like they are not safe and that they are being flooded by people who are not from there? It makes sense that as a powerful nation the U.S. would want to keep their image and continue to thrive in the many ways that nations want to, like in economics and politics doing so by protecting their borders.
Interestingly, just as Trump has created this idea about building a wall Mexico has thought about doing the same thing. They agree on having a wall built between them, but on the southern border facing Guatemala and Belize. Mexican news outlet El Manana writes about how Mexico believes that where Trump’s wall should be built should not be between them and the U.S., but instead in the southern part of Mexico which is quite a hypocritical thing to want and even consider.
Just like some Americans believe that Mexicans crossing the border are all bad people bringing bad things to their country, Mexico believes the same of the Latinos that cross Mexico to be able to get to the American border. They might have a point in how it brings hardship to the country, but the ultimate question is why the solution for both the U.S. and Mexico is to build a wall, why not approach it in a different matter? Even if these walls are put up, are going serve their purpose or are they just utopian ideas? We will never know until we see these plans actually being taken into action, but one thing is for sure, and it is that we have an egotistical view on land and political borders.
Image: U.S./Mexico border fence near San Diego (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)