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for people who care about the West

Walls are not the answer


This piece reflects my own experiences living in Mexico and visiting both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border (“Desert, DividedHCN, 3/19/18). You uncover what is undoubtedly an uncomfortable reality for many to face: A wall is not going to stop human migration. It is an imaginative piece of “security theater,” but a wall doesn’t address the root causes of why people are migrating in the first place: economic desperation and the flight from violence. Our centuries-long exploitative, abusive foreign policy and economic relationship with Mexico and Central America has produced the crisis, and now we propose to meet the human tragedy we have ignited with a ludicrous, ineffective and morally (and perhaps literally) bankrupt wall?

As a Christian, I can’t imagine a more profoundly misguided reaction. Walls are not the answer. More jails, more walls and more deportations are Band-Aids on a compound fracture for which we (the U.S.) are largely responsible. We must see our neighbors for who they are — fellow humans — and act from the premise that we are in this situation together, and it won’t be resolved unless we work together in love and mutual understanding.

Peter Severson
Westminster, Colorado