07/24/2016 Arizona Daily Star
Donald Trump is running for president primarily on fearmongering and divisive rhetoric, but at least one policy proposal will have a tangible impact on our lives in Southern Arizona: his proposed wall across our border with Mexico. The price tag is irrelevant of course since Trump assures us that Mexico will pay for the wall, simply because he says so.
The truth is Trump’s wall will cost us — and dearly at that. The tens of billions of additional dollars it will take to erect Trump’s wall doesn’t factor in the costs for monitoring the structure, or the approximately $750 million it will take to maintain the barrier every year. These expenses are hardly irrelevant for our national budget, but they pale in comparison to the toll this wall would take on our border communities, on the local commerce built upon cross-border trade, and on the delicate ecosystems that make these regions the distinct and beautiful environments that nearly 200 million people call home in both the U.S. and Mexico.