Research flawed in border wall column

Published 6:44 pm Thursday, February 14, 2019

Dear Editor,

In an opinion piece, John Tures (2/13/19) presented research performed by his political science students. They were looking for some objective evidence regarding the efficacy of a Southern border wall.  They chose to compare local crime rates to the presence or absence of such a structure proximate to the communities in question.

Local crime rates are not a valid measure of the effectiveness of a wall for many reasons.  Most of these have to do with factors that affect crime independent of a wall and even of illegal immigration.  Further, travel in the USA is not restricted therefore the point of entry may not determine where someone finally locates.

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The practical purpose of a barrier is to prevent foreign nationals from illegally placing one foot on American soil. Once in, they can claim asylum and be released into the interior. Most never show for the hearings.

Therefore, the proper outcome measure would be a significant reduction in such crossings and an increase in potential immigrants using a legal port of entry. When conducting research, the most important thing is knowing what question to ask and then determining proper methods.

Mitchel L. Galishoff, MD

Valley, AL