DUELING COLUMN: Despite isolationist ideology, the border wall is domestic policy

Repair work begins on a 2 1/4 mile section of Border Fence in El Centro Sector near the Calexico West Port of Entry. Photos by Mani Albrecht U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Public Affairs Visual Communications Division

Michelle Marchante/Editor-in-Chief

Despite what some people may think, the border wall is part of President Donald Trump’s domestic policy, rather than his foreign policy.

The reason is cut and dry: if the wall is built, it will be on U.S. territory.

This means the United States has every legal right to build the wall if Congress finally gives in to Trump’s demands, whether that’s the right decision or not.

And while foreign governments may try to influence U.S. lawmakers, they don’t have any authority as to what happens inside our country’s border.

This is also why the government shutdown has lasted this long.

Our Congress representatives actually have a say as to whether they should grant Trump’s funding request for border security, which includes $5.7 billion for the wall’s construction.

If this were a matter of foreign policy, Congress wouldn’t necessarily have much say on the matter. The president has the power to initiate and implement foreign policy in response to various situations such as foreign events, legislative proposals and policy statements.

But, what’s interesting about the wall’s domestic policy status, is that it actually mirrors the administration’s foreign policy very well.

Unlike the last administration, which preferred using soft power more than hard power to keep the U.S. as the world’s superpower, our current administration is more aggressive in its international conduct.

And part of that “strong guy” image is filled with ideas of isolationism and non-interventionism, two ideologies that have even filtered into our domestic border wall.

As to whether this strategy will actually benefit the United States, it depends on which side of the political sphere you ask.

On one hand, Trump’s strategy has worked for him. He made a new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement and he had a historical summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un back in June to discuss denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, with a second summit reportedly being planned for February.

But, he’s also had his fair share of trouble, although more in regards to his domestic decisions rather than abroad.

His July summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin for example, an event Trump boasted as the place where he would put Putin back in his place, didn’t exactly turn out that way.  

And his decision to have American troops pulled out of Syria is now raising doubts after an explosion in the Syrian city of Manbij last Wednesday left over a dozen people dead, including four Americans.

At the end, every decision has a consequence, and it seems that our domestic turmoil is what may cause other nations to lose faith in status.


Read the other side: U.S. – Mexico border wall is foreign policy



The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of Panther Press Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

Feature Image retrieved from U.S. Customers and Border Security Flickr.

About the Author

Michelle Marchante
Michelle Marchante is the 2018-2019 Editor-in-Chief of PantherNOW. Majoring in broadcast journalism, she lives and breathes web, print, radio and TV news 24/7. You can connect with her on Twitter @TweetMichelleM

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