Illegal immigration and securing the border has been a hot topic on the presidential campaign trail.
Some candidates have argued a sympathetic approach when asked how they would deal with the millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States. However other candidates, like Republican front-runner Donald Trump, have pushed for a more direct solution.
“We need borders. We will have a wall. The wall will be built. The wall will be successful,” Trump told the audience during the fourth presidential primary debate in Milwaukee. “And if you think walls don’t work, all you have to do is ask Israel. The wall works, believe me.”
Trump vowed that if elected he will deport all undocumented immigrants immediately and will build a 1,989 mile long wall along the United States-Mexico border.
According to a recent national poll conducted by The Economist Group/YouGov, 49 percent of Republican voters agree with Trump’s hard line stance on immigration. However, according to the Mayor of Laredo Texas, the third most populated city on the Mexican border, a wall is “illogical” and “impractical”.
“I do see where the border needs to be secured, but we can do it other than building a wall,” Mayor Pete Saenz said.
Saenz said Trump’s plan to build a wall along the border would jeopardize their relationship with Mexico, Laredo’s largest trading partner.
“A wall is offensive to Mexico,” Saenz said. “We’re the number one land port here in the entire U.S.-Mexico border and we do over 200 billion dollars’ worth of trade just here in Laredo alone.”
Saenz added that the Rio Grande river, a natural barrier separating Laredo from Mexico, would make building a wall nearly impossible.