“If you build it, they will NOT come.” That is the claim of the proposed “Wall of America,” which should not be confused with the “Mall of America.”
Sealing off the southern border of the U.S. isn't a new idea but it has been getting extra traction during the current election cycle. The U.S./Mexican border is a little shy of 2,000 miles long and expense estimates vary depending on construction techniques. Minnesota's Mall of America, built in 1992, cost about a billion in today's dollars. The Wall of America, according to various sources could run as high as $50 billion in tomorrow's dollars. Of course, any particular figure only includes an initial expense and not maintenance and the manpower to service its operation, an operation that would presumably continue in perpetuity.
Immigration, legal or otherwise is a recurring issue that seems to jump into the forefront during shaky economic times. When the economy is doing well, there is less concern about foreign workers competing for jobs. This time around, the fear factor has been dialed up with the portrayal of immigrants en masse, engaging in a Latino-on-Gringo crime wave.