On Jan. 10, President Donald Trump visited McAllen, Texas, my home.
Trump’s visit brought McAllen to the national spotlight again as he made his case for a wall between the border of the United States and Mexico. Accompanied by both Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, as well as some of his White House officials, the president saw firsthand where the wall might possibly be built. Visiting my home did not change his mind about the wall, and he still considers it necessary.
But I beg to differ.
Trump was on a mission to bolster his plans for his wall. As a result, he made my home seem dangerous. He made my home feel like it is not part of the United States, making it appear low in the eyes of the nation.
I am disappointed that he went with this route. Many local officials wanted him to see other parts of the border that need improvements, such as bridges of entry where most illegal drugs enter. It seemed like Trump only wanted to surround himself with people who would agree with him, people that will support him without question and make him feel like the wall is essential.
This was the wrong approach. He should’ve also listened to the opinions of local residents. He should’ve accepted the invitation from local officials to see the bridges of entry and hear their opinions. He should’ve visited Sister Norma Pimentel, who is in charge of a local respite center in McAllen that helps immigrants.
I wish he could’ve stayed longer to see the other side of the argument, but I guess that is too much to ask of the President of the United States.
I wrote about my home earlier in the academic year. I emphasized how beautiful and safe it is. When I went back for the holidays, my love for my home grew even more. I became even more aware how special it is and how much I missed it. The culture is like no other place in the world.
I hate to see it treated and viewed like a bad place when it is the polar opposite.
I understand what Trump is trying to achieve. In his mind, he believes that he is doing what is right for the country. But our government’s money should not be used for the wall. The money should be used to hire more border patrol agents, improve the technology being used and improve the process to seek asylum. It should be used to improve the international bridgeways.
We should do everything in our power to ensure that our safe border towns stay safe, but building the wall will not help.The wall will take away land from residents and weaken our relationship with Mexico. Nothing good will come out of it.
Trump’s visit to McAllen was an eye-opener to the extent he will go to to get his wall. However, regardless of his persistence, it is unnecessary to construct it, and it is sad that our government has been shut down because of it.
Christian Reyna is a first-year biomedical engineering major who is also planning on obtaining a Spanish minor. He absolutely loves dogs and probably procrastinated in writing this article.