In the past, we have decried Trump’s border wall proposal, railing against it as an unworkable plan that holds potential to trash our diplomatic relations with Mexico while putting our nation’s food security at risk and threatening the health of industry. Today, after reading plans submitted by entities that want to actually get the border wall contract to build the wall, we are changing our tune. One plan, in particular, has us feeling inspired and full of hope that the “border wall” could actually be a good thing, if the right plan is chosen. Our favorite idea highlights key ingredients that are missing from so many political and bureaucratic proposals: creativity and imagination.
Whereas Trump’s vision of a $21 billion concrete wall that – in our opinion – uses far too many resources with too many damaging consequences and too few benefits, the plan devised by the MADE Collective turns these problems upside down. A group of 14 American and Mexican engineers and urban planners, the MADE Collective has proposed that instead of throwing away money on a stagnant, inanimate structure that produces nothing, we integrate our nations by creating a hyperloop train on a new border country called Otra Nation. Rather than dividing us, the MADE Collective wants to bring us together.
What is it?
The plan would turn the border into a bi-national zone, called Otra Nation, with an independent local government and nonvoting representatives in the U.S. and Mexican legislatures. This territory would host a hyperloop – a type of mass transit train that achieves super-fast speeds using low-pressure tubes – that would stretch from San Diego/Tijuana, across the southwestern region to the Texas/Mexico border – connecting the cities that would form the new, independent Otra Nation. There would be stations along the hyperloop for people from any country to board.
Why is it a good idea?
- Better security. The tall, concrete wall described by Trump goes against the recommendations of many career officials within the Department of Homeland Security who have said that see-through fencing is a more secure option, simply so that we can easily see what’s happening on the other side. In contrast, the hyperloop border plan allows full visibility and creates a buffer zone between the U.S. and Mexico. Plus, with integrated U.S.-Mexico resources available to police this zone, there is the potential for better security at lower cost to U.S. taxpayers.
- Economics. The hyperloop would cost less than the concrete wall while actually creating jobs and income-producing transportation and tourism businesses. The plan would cost approximately $15 billion — less than the $21 billion that the Department of Homeland Security estimated a border wall would cost. The designers also predict that their system would create $1 trillion in trade.
- Culture. The MADE Collective plan proposes a variety of culture-enhancing establishments, including “museums, libraries, art galleries, workshops and landscape interventions such as sculptural parks, land art interventions, and acupunctural social art dynamics. Otra Nation proposes an all along cultural corridor that will foster a more cohesive and empathic relationship as a way of healing historical and current conflicts so to generate a friendly and cooperative mindset.”
- Diplomacy. Mexico has loudly declared their opposition to Trump’s border wall, particularly his demand that they pay for it. The hyperloop plan asks both countries to set aside land and pay for the building and maintenance of the new hyperloop country. This proposition is more equitable, and offers more in rewards for co-participation in the plan.
- Renewable energy. The plan features several solar farms, which would power the hyperloop and highlight the increasing role of renewable energy in our future economy.
This train and the new, bi-national zone that would be carved out to house it would attract economics rather than stifle trade. It would offer job opportunities to both Americans and Mexicans, as the plan specifies that jobs would be equally divided among citizens of these two nations. We believe this plan is not only imaginative but also practical. Yes, it is a complete revisioning of what most of us have thought the border wall would be. But that’s a good thing. We pray that the American public and our political leaders will open their minds to the idea that it is time to try creative solutions to the problems we face. Thank you to the MADE Collective and others who put in the time and energy to create better future possibilities for us all.
If you need the help of an immigration attorney, please contact us today to schedule a consultation. With over forty years of experience as certified immigration law specialists, we have the experience and training you need to guide you through the complicated U.S. legal system.