500 Words

500 Words – Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Photo of a fenceYou just bought a house. Unfortunately, the properties to the left and right of your house are not separated by a fence. As a consequence, there is little to no guidance on where the property lines cross. Neighbors infringe upon your lawn, dogs leave nasty surprises, and the neighborhood kids play tackle football in your backyard.

At first, you liked the idea of people visiting your property. In fact, you actually felt good that people found your property that inviting. However, your property was soon vandalized, and some of the neighborhood kids actually entered your house and began removing items without your permission.

After much thought and debate, you decided against the will of your neighbors to erect a fence separating your property from theirs. You tried to get their assistance because the fence would be riding the property lines. The neighbors wouldn’t have it and claimed that you were going to scar the neighborhood with your unsightly fence. Your security, however, was more important than the neighbors’ concerns.

You soon erected a fence against the neighbors’ wishes. The neighbors claimed that you have now permanently damaged any relations you had with the neighborhood. You don’t care because dogs are no longer pooping on your lawn, kids are no longer breaking in, and unwanted visitors are kept off your property.

Now you may be asking yourself, what is the point of this analogy? According this FoxNews article, a Mexican President-elect is criticising the United States for wanting to build a wall on its southern border. The wall should help ease the influx of illegal immigrants from Mexico. The candidates claim that the wall would “damage relations” between the two countries and would only make the problems in Mexico worse.

Mexican President-elect Felipe Calderon said instead of building a wall, the U.S. should help the Mexicans achieve reform in the form of a guest-worker program, as well as build a few roads to facilitate the economy. Calderon is basically saying that instead of building a wall to prevent illegal immigration, the U.S. should help Mexico stop the reason that Mexicans want to immigrate in the first place.

I’m all for a sovereign, successful Mexico. But Mexico needs to solve its own problems, notably the rampant corruption. Fixing Mexico’s economy is a long-term objective. A successful Mexican economy will not stop the wave of illegal immigrants entering the U.S. on a short-term time table. That is why a border between the United States and Mexico is so drastically needed. The wall is a short-term solution.

A wall will help stop the flood of illegals now. It’ll force Mexico to reevaluate its priorities and look at how it can improve itself. Once their economy prospers, there wouldn’t be a need for Mexicans to immigrate to the U.S. illegally. At that magic point in time, the wall can come down. Until that magic point in time, a wall is necessary for the security of the U.S. and its economy.

As stated in the Robert Frost poem (Mending Wall), good fences make good neighbors.

That’s my 500 Words.

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