The Border Wall – Is it possible a fence could be effective?

We don’t want to tell you WHAT to think, but we would like to HELP you think. We want to provide raw data to help you make an educated decision. So before we dive into the funding of the wall, shouldn’t we be looking at whether it would be effective or not?


This graph shows some highlights of the immigration journey along the southern border.

The blue line shows the numbers of apprehensions made – those caught trying to cross. Here’s the thing about these numbers, they really don’t carry much weight. There are too many factors unknown. For example, there could be a group of 50 people come across and chased by a border patrol officer. The officer might catch 10 of them. Those 10, they would be represented in the blue line number. There isn’t anything in this number that says 40 got away and are now in the US. It doesn’t tell us 5 other’s came across just down the street and no one saw them.

The red dots show the number of estimated undocumented aliens in the US. Of course, this is an estimate because they are supposed to be undocumented. Those 40 that got away, they would be in this number. Those 5 that no one saw, they would be in this number. But again, what does this number really tell us? These are numbers basically pulled out of the air.

To be honest, we would not make any decisions based on this data if it were our money. Oh, wait, it kind of is. O.o

But, this is what we have, so let’s take a look and do the best we can. If we look at the blue line:

  • Initially we can see a huge spike in 1986. This prompted legislation. Prior to this, you could drive across the border and spend the day and come right back. We can see there was an impact. But we really don’t know why. Was it because the legislation stopped them or the unknown of the legislation made people hesitant? The, ‘Hey, let’s get Mikey to try it’ mentality?
  • In 1990, it seems like the illegals got a little more confidence or the border patrol got better because there were more apprehensions.
  • In 1994, there seems to be the start of an incline which pretty much continued until 2000. So what happened in 2000 that stopped the trend? Well, in 1997 funds were allocated for border security. The number of agents were doubled, underground sensors were tripled, and fencing was doubled. The agents were added pretty much immediately. The sensor and fence took some time to be installed. We couldn’t find information saying when those were completed. Could it have been around 2000?
  • There was an uptick again in 2004. Then they added drones.
  • In 2006, the National Guard was deployed to assist border patrol. We can see a significant drop in the number of apprehensions. Is that a good think? *shrugs* Shouldn’t there have been MORE apprehensions? Or did the illegals look and see more people and turn around? Maybe we’ll come back to this later.
  • Fencing Funds were allocated for 154.7 miles in 2007. We know 649 miles were completed by 2011. Crazy part is, once the wall was completed, an incline starts to happen. Maybe the construction workers kept the illegals from crossing? Ha!
  • Part of the uptick from 2012 comes from policy changes – the changes pretty much encouraged people to send their young kids over. Guess what – they did! There was a significant increase by 2014 of unaccompanied children. Well, duh???

Let’s look at the red line now. The thing with this red line is, it’s hard to find data showing a yearly number and even when we do, it’s still a number calculated by a formula based on guesses, er we mean estimates.

  • By the line, we can tell there seems to have been a steady increase in how many undocumented aliens were believed to be here between 1990 until 2007.
  • What happened in 2007? This is what we said we would come back. People were added and walls began to go up. If this number is to be believed, then adding people and a wall appears to have had an impact on the number of undocumented aliens.
  • The number remained steady until about 2011/2012. What do we know about that time? More walls went up.
  • It continues to drop all the way through 2016, and you guessed it, walls went up.

What we do know is two things:

  • There are far less apprehensions being made since walls went up. Good or bad? Who really knows right? We can see legislation has little affect on the number of apprehensions. And back in 1997 agents were added, but had little affect. The affect seems to have come after the wall construction was completed.
  • The number of undocumented aliens was on an increasing trend until walls went up. Agents were added but the number continued to increase. Stricter legislation was enacted, but again, the numbers continued to increase.

Maybe a better way to look at this isn’t with statics based on skewed numbers but with some common sense. Here are two thought processes:

The Rio Grande Valley Sector now has nine stations, two checkpoints, air and marine operations and an intelligence office. Rio Grande Valley Sector’s 3100+ agents patrol over 320 river miles, 250 coastal miles and 19 counties equating to over 17,000 square miles.

Little perspective, there are 484 football fields in a square mile – and there are 6-7 refs watching 22 men on one football field during a game. That would be 3,388 refs in 1 square mile. There are 3100 agents in 17000 square miles. Does that give you a good picture?

For non football fans, Detroit, Michigan has some of the highest crime rates and is 142.9 square miles. They have 1,700 police officers. There are 3100 agents in 17000 square miles.

With the guarantee no American citizen will take it, you have to leave your most valued possession (could be a child) sitting along side the road in the Rio Grande Valley Sector, no wall, for 4 days and 5 nights. How confident are you that it will still be there when you return? How confident would you be to leave that same possession sit in the middle of Detroit for 4 days and 5 nights?

If you are confident it would still be there, then you probably don’t care if there is a wall built. But if you don’t think it would be there, you probably should support the wall.

You have been waiting to get _____ (fill in the blank) and you finally got up enough money to get it. You stand in line for 7 days, and during that time, you see people sneaking in and stealing the _____. How does that make you feel? Would you feel better if there was a door you had to go through and the only way through it was to stand in line like you did?

If people jumping lines, cutting in line, or stealing what you are waiting for and running of with it doesn’t bother you, then you probably don’t care if there is a wall. But if the thought of that makes your blood boil, then you probably want a wall.


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