On Wednesday, the Louder with Crowder team uploaded the latest installment in the "Change My Mind" series in which Steven Crowder engages in long-form conversations about controversial issues.
During the approximately one-hour episode titled, "Build the Wall (2nd Edition)," Crowder sits down with four students at an undisclosed university to talk about building a barrier along the southern border of the United States.
While all of the exchanges are interesting and well worth watching, one in particular illustrates several ways in which progressives debate this issue, including a reliance on incorrect information, and a shifting style of argumentation.
The following are excerpts of Crowder’s exchange with one student (edited and categorized):
STUDENT: I don't really disagree with the fact that we need to enforce our laws – of course we do need to enforce our laws. My problem with the wall is just, isn't there a simpler solution to this broader problem? Someone told me before that the reason why it's being built ... is to stop illegal immigration. But the fact is that most illegal immigration is from expired visas. So, wouldn't it just be a simpler way to just keep track, keep tabs on people who have visas from overseas, and just keep a look at them instead of creating a $5 billion dollar wall that's going to require maintenance?
CROWDER: I appreciate where you're coming from with that. This is where we kind of run into a common issue on college campuses. So, how confident are you that the majority of illegal immigrants are just overstayed visas?
STUDENT: I'm gonna say at least a good 80% ... I'm very confident.
CROWDER: It's 42%, which means less than half, which means the majority of illegal immigrants are crossing through the border unfettered. But how about this – how about doing both?
STUDENT: I'd be down for both, but my problem with the wall is it's too expensive. Wouldn't it just be easier to create more checkpoints? Something like that?
CROWDER: So how would you create checkpoints?
STUDENT: I mean, it would still have to be an infrastructure project ... I'm just saying we don't need an entire concrete wall to do that. With a concrete wall ... nothing's gonna stop somebody from chiseling away at the wall, but someone sitting at a desk watching the border, they're probably gonna be able to see...
CROWDER: The most liberal estimates on the wall, it would cost about $20 billion plus.
STUDENT: $20 billion?
Cost of Illegal Immigration
CROWDER: $20 billion plus. So, I'm giving you more there. It sounds expensive. And I would say that, yeah, I'm obviously a fiscal conservative – I don't wanna waste taxpayer dollars. I assume you're probably lining up on the same side of the coin there. But how much do you think illegal immigrants cost the American taxpayer every year?
STUDENT: You're gonna have to be more concise on that. Just saying, "How much do illegal immigrants cost?" That's encompassing a lot of things.
CROWDER: Using social services, abusing the health care system, public education, using services that they're not necessarily paying for because they don't pay taxes. How much do you think they burden you and me, the American taxpayer, each year?
STUDENT: I don't think I'd be able to give an informed decision on that.
CROWDER: And that's not a trick question. The whole purpose of this – I hope you feel it's been respectful – is not to do "gotcha," but I think a lot of people aren't really informed on this issue. Illegal immigrants cost, on average, the American taxpayer $116 billion dollars a year. So even if you're to take the most liberal estimates ... $20 billion to build a wall. If you look at the investment/reward ratio there, $116 billion dollars to the tax payer each year, $20 billion dollars is kind of a drop in the bucket...
CROWDER: Would you be okay with doing all of the above?
STUDENT: Wall plus checkpoints?
CROWDER: Wall plus checkpoints, and dealing with the visa issue, yeah.
STUDENT: Well, I still do think that one of the problems with the wall is that a lot of the area onto the border – isn't that all private property? Wouldn't that all have to be taken from Americans?
CROWDER: You're taking about eminent domain?
CROWDER: Well here's what we are talking about – and I understand your concern there. We are talking about an issue of national security, right? And putting a wall up around our national border is either important or it's not.
Low-Paid Checkpoint Monitors
[The student suggested having multiple individuals watching the border for $15 an hour]
CROWDER: You said having even just someone being paid $15 an hour at the border monitoring it. Are you privy to what goes on with the Mexican drug cartels? Pretty brutal people.
STUDENT: I'm aware.
CROWDER: Criminals who cross the border illegally – not the friendliest bunch. First off, where are you going to find someone to stop those people for $15 an hour?
CROWDER: And how do you equip them to stop those people?
STUDENT: Well, I'm a believer in the legal system. I just think that just having somebody monitoring them, having the evidence –
CROWDER: As they walk in?
CROWDER: So you would rather just have someone at $15 an hour watch them walk in illegally and then deal with that problem afterward?
STUDENT: Well, deal with that problem quickly, let the local police departments deal with it.
CROWDER: Okay, so now we're burdening the cost to local police departments.
CROWDER: Okay, as opposed to a federal issue, now we're going to local police departments. But we run into the issue, like we see now, of sanctuary cities. [We] have cities in United States – I'm sure you're familiar with them – [where] you can't deport not only illegal immigrants, but illegal immigrants who have committed subsequent crimes beyond coming to the country legally. Why should we let these people in? Why don't we stop them before they come in? You do realize, again, that's going to add to the tax burden like we were talking about. It doesn't seem very realistic.
STUDENT: Well, as I said before, we're just gathering evidence. That's all I'm saying, gather evidence. I did say originally that the police department should detain these people, but I'm not saying that the local city should perhaps charge them. Maybe we should get the federal government to charge them.
CROWDER: After they've come into the country illegally?
CROWDER: That's a much lengthier and costlier process than stopping them from coming in here. Not to mention the fact that they don't have the right to be here in the first place.
As previously mentioned, the other exchanges are worth watching as well. The student featured above is simply the best example of the lack of accurate information coupled with shifting arguments often employed by progressives regarding border security.
Check out the entire video here: