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Mexico and the United States Barrier
When we talk about the Mexico and the United States barrier, which also goes by the name of the Border Wall, it is basically a chain of vertical barriers which are along way the US and Mexico border. The foundation of the barriers was laid down under the presidency of Bill Clinton in 1994. The main purpose of the wall is to restrict illegal crossings from Mexico into the United States. The barrier is not exactly one adjoining structure; it is, in fact, a discontinues sequence of physical obstacles. They are variously characterized as "Walls" and "Fences." Talking in regards to the middle of the physical barriers, there is security which is being provided by a virtual fence, which consists of cameras, sensors and various surveillance tools. This surveillance is being used to dispatch the United States Border Patrol agents to the suspicious crossing of the migrants. As per 2009 January, The United States Customs and Border Protection has given the report that around 580 miles of the barrier have been put to place. In this paper, I will be discussing the current business issues in regards to the US-Mexico barrier followed by the ethical paradigm that addresses the issue in the best manner.
The thing that most people will have in mind when the topic of the border is discussed is the fact that; what exactly is it bringing on the table for the US? In accordance with a study that was carried out by Dartmouth and Stanford, the expansion minimally had a reduction on the illegal Migration by the Mexicans and was largely impacting the US workers negatively. The construction cost of the wall is estimated to be 2.3 billion, which means that around 7$ per person residing in the US. The study also made it clear that building the wall had a negative impact on the US workers who had a college degree by $4.35 per individual. It was also seen that the US workers who were less educated benefited from it by an average of 36 cents. The study also suggested that instead of the building of the border wall, if the US had merely made a reduction in its trade costs with Mexico so they would come nearer to the domestic costs, all of the workers in both Mexico and the United States would have benefited considerably (Miller and Nevins 145-151). The complex manner in which the border wall expansion has impacted the economy has made things worse off for the majority of the working citizens. The people who are in fact benefitting from the wall are doing so by a very less amount.
Another thing that should be kept in the mind is the fact that the wall was mainly built to reduce the amount of the migrations from Mexico to the United States. The study with the help of the confidential data that was taken from the Mexican Government found out that the wall expansion brought a reduction in the Mexican-born workers only by 0.6%, which is hardly 83000 people. The researchers of the study also put stern on the fact that if the goal of the policy is to in fact reduce migration, it is essential to understand that what actually makes people migrate on the first place. The Mexican citizens opted to migrate based on higher wage rate in the US, which did not change.
When Donald Trump was running his campaign the main promise that he made was that he would be building a great wall alongside the United States and Mexico Border. There are specific issues that have always been in the limelight for both the US and Mexico, which are; immigration, unemployment and drug trafficking. Let us start by discussing the recession dated back to 2008; the economy of the United States has still not recovered fully. The unemployment rate is quite high; it is estimated to be as high as 15% in certain parts of the country. There are concerns that have been highlighted that state that the immigrants are lowering down the local wage rate. The money is being diverted from the US and taken back to the Mexican families in Mexico. It was mentioned in "Times Magazine," the project of the wall alone in the construction face will be bringing about 25000 job opportunities. Further, in accordance with "CareerRide," it was stated that the US economy is not in the position to take any more illegal migrants that it already has. It is also a fact that the existing illegal workforce takes back around 25000$ per single household via welfare and government benefits. When the border wall will be constructed the American tax-payers will be getting the economic opportunities that they once used to get and deserve. Further, a wall will also bring about a change on the opposite side as well; the economic opportunities will stretch across the border (Plaisance 83). The Mexican companies that will be contributing to activities like supplying material and clearing roads will also be getting a platform to further progress.
The Mexican Government stated that around 13000 people were killed in 2011 due to drug violence. The wall might be able to reduce and dismantle the drug violence if policed strategically. The construction of this wall will instil a sense of security for both the United States and America. The argument that is discussed above, when is applied in the "utilitarian ethical context," it points that social and economic benefits are pretty substantial which overshadow the potential negative side effects of building the border wall. The wall which was built in 2006 was inclusive of various urban areas like El Paso, Nogales and Tijuana. This in return sidetracked individuals to take a more dangerous route, which is the mountainous terrain and open deserts route. These routes led to an increase in the death rate. The wall which will be built in the future is estimated to be 30 to 50 feet tall, hence making it almost indestructible. The proposal of the wall will ultimately be in favor of the public safety due to it deterring the migrants from climbing the wall and making a dangerous journey to cross the border. So, considering the “virtue ethics,” constructing this wall in regards to the engineer’s code of ethics will prevent stoppable danger to the safety of health of the people, hence proving that it is an ethical act. It was stated by the engineering council that engineers would commence only professional tasks for which they carry competence, and further remove the curtains from relevant restrictions of competence. It should be kept in mind that it is beyond the capability and competence of an engineer to understand and pass judgement on the political and consequences of the wall (Peters et al., 740-743) The engineers should rather have a consultation with the professional governing body or HR to express their concerns. This also is in favor of the “virtue ethics framework.”
However, the United States and Mexico border spreads across 3100km. Building a wall that big is going to cost a lot of money. Apart from being expensive and requiring a huge engineering feat, the question that arises is that should it be done? The 3100km on which the wall is said to be constructed are a home to mountains, valleys, plateaus, rivers and animals and plants. The wall can have a huge impact on all of these factors. Majority of the business nowadays should have an awareness of how they are impacting the environment. This wall can influence the environment on a great deal. The most important factor is that the California border is home to a variety of animal and plant species. There are eighteen of those species that are federally protected alongside them are thirty-nine species that are federally endangered, candidate or threatened species besides the Arizona border. This wall can have a huge impact on them, an impact so profound that can lead to extinction as the breeding of these species will be put to risk. Now the question that arises is, that is a wall more important than the potential loss of a species? In my opinion, no. No business or political agenda is big enough to eradicate a whole species from the surface of the earth.
The United States and Mexico border path is inclusive of drylands that are in requirement of runoff routes in order to avoid floods while preserving and maintaining the natural environment. This fact exponentially causes an increase in the complexity which further leads to the rise in the cost as well. One of the most important things that need to be stern upon is the fact that this step of building a wall will influence the climate change. Climate change is one of the most dreaded and an issue of concern lately and should be taken seriously. It is an undeniable fact that building a wall means that there will be a lot of cement required and the production of cement the material that joins together solid concrete is one of the major causes of the greenhouse gas emissions. Constructing a border wall between the US and Mexico is no joke; it is a big task. This means that an unmeasurable quantity of cement will be produced leading to the emission of the greenhouse gases. The production of these gases at such a large scale can be very damaging and an issue that carries high magnitude.
Making use of the “Kant’s university principle,” the main examination to be done is that; whether the engineers responsible for the building of the wall will construct and design structures while being fully aware of the fact that the construction can have severe consequences on the environment. This fact can be universalized. It really is an ethical dilemma and one that carries great importance. If the engineers behind the project ignore the impact that their work will bring about on the environment, it can potentially cause the loss of various animal and plant species and even put human lives on risk (Harriss 32-37). It should be kept in consideration that engineers are required to protect the public. They need to be well aware of the consequences their actions can cause. The public health, welfare and safety is an ethical priority, and they are to prioritize it in their work. This proves the fact that building this wall will indeed be deemed an unethical act.
It is a fact that only 35% of the people who voted for Donald Trump were in favor of the wall. It is the responsibility of the engineers who are tasked to build the wall to keep in mind that they are responsible and accountable for the safety and opinion of these people along with the majority of the people in Mexico who are against the construction of this wall. In light of the care ethics, it should be kept under consideration that there is moral value in our relations and we should always keep these values under the loop when making any kind of decision. Citizens from both the countries are putting their trust in the engineers behind this project. They expect the decision that is made by them to be ethically right and something that satisfies both the communities (Ast). They believe in the rise of a just society and expect nothing less from the people who carry authority. It is necessary that awareness is created in every way possible so that this trust can be upheld.
Border or no border this idea of a wall between the two nations carry great loopholes that cannot be avoided. They are so evident in the picture that it is sad that people are blinding themselves from looking at the bigger picture. Our relationship with the great majority of the people who do not have a say in all of this is of great importance. It is necessary that we make their voices be heard based on the social standing that we have in every way possible. These people are vulnerable and will be further marginalized by the construction of this wall. There are around 25000 illegal workers in the United States that work in the country's agriculture industry. The Mexicans are responsible for forming the backbone of the largely Southern Industry by fitting in the low wage jobs while hoping for a better living. Making a physical barrier alongside these farms and disrupting them will result in strangling the free movement of the workforce. This will end in causing harm to this workforce and jeopardizing the prospects of both the owners of the farms and the workers. This will lead to the betraying of their trust. This indeed is an ethical dilemma, and it needs to be sorted strategically in a manner that both the nations can have a win-win situation. There are issues on both the ends which can only be resolved by showing a little flexibility as the cons are higher than the pros.
Peters, Robert, et al. "Nature divided, scientists united: US–Mexico border wall threatens biodiversity and binational conservation." BioScience 68.10 (2018): 740-743.
Miller, Todd, and Joseph Nevins. "Beyond Trump’s Big, Beautiful Wall: Trump’s plan to wall off the entire US-Mexico border is just one of a growing list of actions that extend US border patrol efforts far past the international boundary itself." NACLA Report on the Americas 49.2 (2017): 145-151.
Harriss, Robert C. "Trump's Wall Threatens Wildlife Ecology in the United States–Mexico Borderlands." Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development 60.1 (2018): 32-37.
Plaisance, Patrick Lee. "5 Journalism Ethics." Journalism 19 (2018): 83.
Ast, Federico. "The Moral Dilemmas of Global Business." Globalization. IntechOpen, 2018.
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