On July 23, 10 people were found dead in the bed of a swelteringly hot tractor-trailer found in a WalMart parking lot in San Antonio, Texas. Authorities found 39 people in the vehicle, but had reason to believe that there had at one time been as many as 100 in the small space. All of the individuals appeared to be suffering from heatstroke, and many will likely have related injuries and other health problems from which they will suffer for the rest of their lives. It appears that the individuals involved were undocumented immigrants, seeking to gain access into the country illegally.
Building walls to demarcate nation-state borders has been gaining political traction, as of late. The phenomenon of building walls is ultimately seen as a solution, and an easy answer for complex problems: a “if we can’t solve it, let’s just insulate ourselves from it” mentality is taking hold. In a recent op-ed for the New York Times, Tom Vanderbilt takes aim at the wall building phenomenon and dispels the metaphor–and promise–that president-elect Donald Trump used to bolster his campaign and appeal to voters: building a border wall on the Mexico-U.S. border.