So it's not the purpose of the wall in keeping people out but just the optics of it being a wall instead of a fence or other barrier?
That doesn't make any sense to me from a perspective of logic or being rational but I suppose maybe it does make some sort of sense from an emotional perspective, perhaps. A barrier is a barrier and the point of it is exactly the same...
Is your house safe from burglars, cherry? Is there any way a burglar could get into your house? Wouldn't your house be safer if you put in $5 million of improvements? So why don't you?
For the two same reasons, I'd bet, as to why we shouldn't build a 50 foot wall.
1. No matter how much security you add, someone who is motivated enough can always get past it. Even if we have a 50 foot concrete wall along the entire length of the Mexican border, illegals would sneak along the coast, or tunnel under the wall, or climb over the wall, or fly over the wall, or just blow a hole in it. Walls cannot stop everyone. They can only discourage the less motivated and/or prepared.
Any wall can be breached; any safe can be cracked; any house can be broken into. Higher security makes it harder, but can never make it impossible.
2. Spending that much money on security simply isn't worth it. The law of diminishing returns. Our security wouldn't be enhanced that much with an $12 billion+ wall, as compared to a fence. The few percent of those trying to cross that would be deterred by a 50 foot wall compared to a 25 foot fence is not worth the 100x or more cost of the wall. It may look impressive, but it won't do much more than a fence would. You would still need border agents to patrol the wall. You would still need to maintain the wall.
You can go broke trying to buy security. You have to balance the cost against the threat.
And the bottom line is that the threat from terrorists and illegals is still relatively miniscule. Take the number of murders in this country for any recent year. Subtract the number of murders from illegals and terrorists who snuck across the border. Now divide it by the original number. What'd you get? 99 percent? 99.5 percent? 99.9 percent?
$8 billion won't buy diddly-squat.
So, I suppose you'll say, then why have any fences? Why not just tear down all the fences and let anyone who wants to come in?
Which brings us back to your house analogy. If you can't afford to spend $5 million dollar improving you house security, or don't think it's worth it, why don't you just disconnect the burglar alarm, take off the front door, open all the windows, and leave your house lights off all the time? What does it matter--you can't stop anyone from breaking in, can you?
Because these measures do prevent most burglaries. They prevent the casual burglar from just dropping by when he feels like it. They make it harder for him to break in the first place, and increase the chances he'll be caught.
If Trump was serious about increasing border security, he'd propose things that would help--increasing border patrols, building more low-cost fencing, going after employers of illegals who provide the main incentive for people to illegally cross the border. These
things would help, at a cost/benefit ratio that would be rational. These could work.
But a wall? A pie-in-the-sky solution. (Do you recall the link from a few months ago that estimated how much concrete this wall would require? It was something like 40 percent of all the concrete we use for like ten years, IIRC. Nuts.)
But Trump likes big ideas. We should ask him for a unicorn to go with it.