1. Misplaced priority. When I consider worthy causes to give to, building a wall to keep foreigners out does not come even close to appearing on my list. For example, my town has a poverty level that is 14% higher than the national average. 33.4% of males and 24.3% of females who are considered poor are also disabled. It would be hard for anyone to convince me to give to a wall when I can give to help people who are suffering in my hometown.

2. Misguided solution. According to our own government, almost 50% of illegal immigrants in the U. S. are NOT people who crossed the border—they are people who simply overstayed their visas. Giving toward building a wall does not address this critical problem with our immigration system. If politicians really wanted to accomplish something positive, at least as a first step, they should initiate a process to deport those who abuse the privilege of being a guest in this country and change the law to permanently close that loophole.

3. Misinformed notion of effectiveness. In the debate about border security, comparison with Israel is a constant. The problem with that argument is that it fails to account for a multiplicity of other measures that over the years have been implemented by the Israeli government to keep terrorists at bay, including the development of super innovative high tech tools, the use of extremely intrusive methods of vigilance, the massive presence of heavily armed personnel everywhere, the use of precision and persistent training, as well as the toleration for an ample latitude to kill anyone deemed a threat to security. In other words, to simply say “the wall works in Israel” is a gross oversimplification of what has really taken place in that country. Perhaps saying “the wall is one of the factors” would be more palatable to people like me. Either way, I would not give to a cause that promises something I know it cannot deliver.

4. Exaggerated threat. I know it’s hard for many North Americans to see this but the fact is that historically terrorism threats or acts have not been committed by people who crossed the border illegally into the U. S. I am not saying we should not be vigilant nor do I side with those who believe in open borders, which I consider to be an unworkable idea, even in the age of turbo globalism. However, I will not support a cause that has been hyped to a level of insanity simply to feed the fears of those who would vote for a candidate who would “build a wall to keep America safe.” That, in my opinion, is fear-mongering and I despise that kind of tactic.

5. Limited funds. I consider myself a hardworking individual. But like many others in this country, I don’t have a lot of “discretionary money” laying around. So, I give to my church, to a few charities I identify with, and to some occasional needs that arise within my network of friends and acquaintances. Beyond that, I volunteer my time and talents. With all due respect to the need to keep the nation safe, which I believe should be a priority of any government, personally, I would rather put my efforts into building bridges, not walls. Building walls is not exactly what I have been called to do. And that’s why I give to causes that have Christ at the center—He is the ultimate bridge maker.

Ivanildo C. Trindade

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