2 UC Irvine L. Rev. 147 (2012)
Why a Wall

handle is hein.journals/ucirvlre2 and id is 149 raw text is: Why a Wall?
Pratheepan Gulasekaram*
Initiated with Operation Gatekeeper in the earl) 1990s, and extended with Sjgnificant
funding b the Secure Fences Act in 2006, the United States has committed itself to pkisical
fortification q'its border with Mexico. The stated purpose of the border.fince is to eliminate
unlawful entry into the United States. Yet, since the initiation of the border fence project, critics
and empirical researchers have found the fortification, at best, to be costAl and ineffectual in
accomplishing its stated goals; at worst, the argue it causes sign      cant death without anj
deterrence.
In thejfrce of this cfrtique, this Article theorzes the creation andpersvtence of a border
wall, arguing that severalfactors unrelated to actual deterrence inexorabjy provoke the building of
a physical border banier. _After first describing the powerful cost-benefit case establishing the
disutili y of a border fence, the Article explains the underfying forces that render suc critiques
unpersuasive. Instead, the Article presents alternative rationales /br border wall construction
based on incentives./br national lawmakers and the.fideral government that are onl marginall
related to actual elimination of unlaw/>l entr. The Article then highlghts the importance of the
wall& phjsicalit, explaining how    its existence alters immigration enforcement and migration
discourse in politicaly,  wltura49, and legaj significant wajs. Fundamentalj, the border Nall
naturalizes and normalizes the idea of a national border, therebyj facilitating harsh enforcement
strategies. Meanwhile, its presence helps generate even more undocwmented presence within the
countu, rendering the wall not on/y an apparent solution to a perceivedprbem, but constitutive
of'the problem itself
_Finalfy  the _Article queries whether the existence of the border fence at our current
historical moment portends the weakening of nation-state boundaries. A physical border barner,
counterintuitiv,, maj be the harbinger of diminished sovereign power, serving more as a warning
to the walled-in dtizenr of the constructing nation than to putative migrants on the outside.

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