Last updated on: 3/6/2024 | Author:

Should the U.S. Continue Constructing a U.S./Mexico Border Wall?

The first U.S./Mexico border fences meant to control human migration (as opposed to animals) were erected in the late 1940s as the Bracero Program was implemented. The debate has surged ever since. Most recently, the Biden administration resumed construction of the wall begun and championed by the Trump Administration. For more on immigration, explore the ProCon debate.

Soruce: Mary E. Mendoza, “Treacherous Terrain: Racial Exclusion and Environmental Control at the U.S.-Mexico Border,” Environmental History,, Jan. 2018

PRO (yes)


Donald Trump:

“We’re joined together to celebrate a great achievement: the extraordinarily successful building of the wall on the southern border…. A lot of it — a lot of the wall you have is incredibly natural. It’s — you have the mountains. You have the rivers. You have some very powerful water areas. You have some areas that are virtually impossible to get by. So we didn’t need walls everywhere, but where we needed them — because it’s been so successful that we’ve added nearly 300 miles. And that’s currently under construction. This was our original wish: to get these areas done where it was such trouble. And now we have it. It’s either in construction or pre-construction — an additional 300 miles.”


Trump White House Archives, “Remarks by President Trump at the 45th Mile of New Border Wall | Reynosa-McAllen, TX,”, Jan. 12, 2021

CON (no)


Joe Biden:

“I’ll answer one question on the border wall: The border wall – the money was appropriated for the border wall. I tried to get them to reappropriate it, to redirect that money. They didn’t, they wouldn’t. And in the meantime, there’s nothing under the law other than they have to use the money for what it was appropriated. I can’t stop that. [Journalist: Does the border wall work?] [Biden:] No.”

Editors’ Note: The Biden Administration resumed construction of the border wall, with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas stating: “There is presently an acute and immediate need to construct physical barriers and roads in the vicinity of the border of the United States in order to prevent unlawful entries into the United States in the project areas.” Mayorkas also emphasized, “I want to address today’s reporting relating to a border wall and be absolutely clear: There is no new administration policy with respect to the border wall. Allow me to repeat that: There is no new administration policy with respect to the border wall. We have repeatedly asked Congress to rescind this money, but it has not done so, and we are compelled to follow the law”

On the first day of his presidency, Biden issued a proclamation that stated, “Like every nation, the United States has a right and a duty to secure its borders and protect its people against threats. But building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious policy solution. It is a waste of money that diverts attention from genuine threats to our homeland security. My Administration is committed to ensuring that the United States has a comprehensive and humane immigration system that operates consistently with our Nation’s values. In furtherance of that commitment, I have determined that the declaration of a national emergency at our southern border in Proclamation 9844 of February 15, 2019 (Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Southern Border of the United States), was unwarranted. It shall be the policy of my Administration that no more American taxpayer dollars be diverted to construct a border wall. I am also directing a careful review of all resources appropriated or redirected to construct a southern border wall.”


Priscilla Alvarez, “Biden Says Border Walls Don’t Work As Administration Bypasses Laws To Build More Barriers in South Texas,”, Oct. 5, 2023
Sources for Editors’ Note: Valerie Gonzales, “The Biden Administration Says It Is Using Executive Power To Allow Border Wall Construction in Texas,”, Oct. 5, 2023
White House, “Proclamation on the Termination of Emergency With Respect to the Southern Border of the United States and Redirection of Funds Diverted to Border Wall Construction,”, Jan. 20, 2021

Not Clear or Not Found

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr:

“No country can survive if it can’t control its borders. And we’re not doing that. The good news is that everybody I talked to there said that this [immigrant influx] is easy to stop…. It is very, very simple. And they’ve been doing it before. Oh, I didn’t like to hear this because I’m not a big fan of Donald Trump’s. I did not like his wall. [But] what the Border Patrol and everybody else said is you don’t need to build a physical barrier from San Diego, 2,200 miles to Brownsville, Texas. You do need a physical barrier in certain places where there’s high density populations. The rest of it you can monitor with ground monitoring–very, very sophisticated surveillance and ground monitoring systems.”


Adam Sexton, “Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Shares What He Saw at Southern Border Crossing,”, June 23, 2023