Yes, El Paso Is Safer Because Of The Wall



During a recent campaign rally in El Paso, Texas, President Trump claimed that the city had been transformed from “one of the most dangerous cities in the country to one of the safest cities in the country overnight” after “a wall was put up,” a statement that drew immediate criticism.

In fact, many fact-checking and mainstream media outlets highlighted the fact that apprehensions and crime rates in the sector were falling before a barrier was built and that the reductions were simply related to other law enforcement initiatives, not a wall.

While government data can certainly support those critiques, the news outlets failed to note  the immeasurable benefits to citizens of simply having a barrier in the region, which should be a factor in border security discussions moving forward.

First, the mere presence of a border barrier in the sector improves the safety and security of American citizens. The physical structure of the wall serves as a deterrent and defines the boundary between Mexico and the United States, which prevents individuals, potentially dangerous individuals, from crossing the border illegally. If a migrant has the option of crossing the border where there is no barrier or at a juncture where there is a tall structure layered with concertina wire, it is safe to assume a migrant would select the first option.

Second, the wall itself enables Border Patrol personnel to focus their attention on dangerous criminal aliens as the wall serves as a first layer of security. If there were no wall in place, the Border Patrol would spend much more of their time patrolling remote areas instead of apprehending individuals that have already breached the border.

Lastly, the border barrier funnels individuals and vehicles into ports of entry, which means that they are screened more effectively and the risk of a previous criminally convicted individual or contraband entering the country is lowered. There is no data available to indicate what percentage of individuals come to ports of entry after being deterred by a barrier, but it’s reasonable to assume that an effective border barrier influences the choices made by criminals attempting to enter the country. More importantly, the inability to sneak into the country undetected may deter criminals and ineligible aliens from attempting to enter the country at all.

Border barriers remain an essential component in border security even if they are not the sole contributor in crime reduction. Even if one were to use data, one could see that after construction of the border barrier in El Paso in 2009, apprehensions in the region decreased for seven consecutive years. While other border technology has certainly contributed to this decrease, it would be remiss of critics to claim that the wall has not assisted in that trend.

Simply put, a barrier can bring many advantages, even if they cannot always be directly measured by data.

About Author

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Matthew joined FAIR in 2018 as FAIR’s communications specialist. Matthew is a primary media contact for the organization and assists with all of the organization’s communication activities. He brings previous experience in government research, writing, and communications. Before joining FAIR, Matthew worked in the Wisconsin State Senate as well as a Wisconsin political non-profit. Matthew holds a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

3 Comments

  1. avatar

    Hell anyone who traveled through or grew up in Texas knew you never stopped in el paso for any reason you always fueled up out of town because it was a third world shithole just like mexico !!

  2. avatar

    The Narcotic White Powder

    Is crossing the southern border by the ton and ending up as horrifying discarded toxic needles [to step on] strewn “all over” on Californian beaches, washed up on beaches from the recent rains…

    But there’s no crisis.

  3. avatar

    There was some “Democratic consultant” on Fox this afternoon. He had the usual talking points: There is no crisis at the border and the answer is “comprehensive immigration reform”. He must have used that phrase ten times. It’s no surprise that the mainstream media will never ask what exactly do you mean by comprehensive reform, but the conservative media should be asking. They should ask directly do you mean a complete amnesty for illegals, which of course is what they mean. Why not make them state it? It’s like the mainstream networks never ask when some open borders Democrat says “the experts” say a wall doesn’t work. What experts? La Raza? It’s certainly not the Border Patrol.