New economic proposal for U.S.-Mexico border wall announced

Virginia Grant, Culture Editor

In a political climate rife with indignation and outrage a positive solution for the American-Mexican border has emerged that is gaining popular support. On February 14, 2019 the Scientific American published an article proposing solar, wind, natural gas and water infrastructure along the border to create economic development that would preclude illegal border crossings. This plan is gaining momentum in social media. Memes are circulating on Facebook. Reddit has a commentary, mostly positive. Major media is picking up the story. The development of this region would enable the best use of enterprise to safeguard their assets and defend the border in the process. The end result would transform an economic desert into a land of opportunity.

Much of the opposition to the current proposals is the rejection of a massive structure that would cut through the properties on the American side of the border. This dividing wall would destroy

A bold new plan proposes that the United States and Mexico jointly build a 1,954-mile energy park along the border instead of a wall. The proposal, by 28 prominent U.S. scientists and engineers, says that the effort would bring abundant energy and water to the region while also providing border security and economic stability. (Purdue University photo/Jorge Castillo Quiñones)

nature sanctuaries, seize property that has been family owned since before Texas was part of the United States, and desecrate Native Burial Grounds older than America. In populated regions, it would not prevent the majority of illegal immigrants who enter through border crossings and overstay their visas. In the desert regions a wall would be vulnerable to tunnels, drones, or even ladders. Besides being ineffective, the proposed wall requires the waiver of dozens of laws and regulations that the proposed structure potentially violates. To many the wall represents division and destruction of property, nature and values.

In contrast, the proposed opportunity corridor would be a joint project with Mexico that would promote unity and prosperity. In this scenario Mexico would gladly help build a protective zone along the border, and business large and small would gladly cooperate. While this may seem like a wild fantasy it is the brain child of a consortium of 27 engineers and scientists from a dozen different American universities. The proposal is to engage the energy industry to create natural gas, solar and wind power plants along the border. Excess energy generated would be used to desalinize water from the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. Experience has shown us that national dependence on regional agriculture leads to shortages when supplies become contaminated or devastated by natural forces. Abundant water from the border could quite literally make the desert bloom as it provides food and employment to both Americans and Mexicans.

The efforts of the Sierra Club, Valley Green Space, The National Butterfly Center, Generation Progress, The Center for Biological Diversity, Native American Tribes and local residents as they stage protests and muster resources will slow the progress of the wall. Stopping the wall and retaining the status quo does not solve our problems with the border, and there are problems. There are many problems and this diversity does not lend itself to an easy solution. The two problems most frequently cited are immigrants and drugs. The Energy Park would address these problems better than a wall. People cross the border seeking sanctuary and economic opportunity; a wall will not stop this, most cross legally and overstay. The Energy Park would not stop this either, but it would create opportunity south of the border. Drugs cross the border; a wall would not stop this because, again, most come in at legal ports of entry. An Energy Park would not stop this either; we need to address the American drug problem from within. An Energy Park along the American-Mexican border would also provide the opportunity for private industries to prosper as they create unity and abundance in both countries. Many people find that to be an idea worth entertaining.