The Association of Public Policy PhD Students [APPS] hosted an informal afternoon conversation on volatile U.S.-Mexico relations and border security on March 7 with one of the foremost experts on the topic, Schar School associate professor Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera.
Neslihan Kaptanoglu, the organizer of the event and president of APPS, said, “These kinds of informal conversations with Schar School of Policy and Government faculty give students an opportunity to get to know their professor’s research and ask more questions.”
Kaptanoglu emphasized keeping the event informal with pizza and desserts to encourage students to feel more comfortable asking questions.
When asked why she chose Correa-Cabrera for the talk, Kaptanoglu said, “She is an expert in the field, and she chooses to focus on current events which is beneficial to all students.”
Border security, as if anyone has to be told, has become one of the most important issues in American politics. Correa-Cabrera spoke about the moral “spectacle” Southern border security and immigration has become in American politics and the media.
“The media creates this perception of violence based on a perception that is not real,” she said. “In politics, the border wall has become the ultimate spectacle.”
MS-13 and Central American drug cartels are used to justify the need for stronger border security, she pointed out. Correa-Cabrera explained the profitability of establishing fear from foreign invaders by increasing aggregate demand for border security thus creating more jobs through construction, arms deals, and research and development.
President Trump has asserted that Mexico will pay for the border wall. Correa-Cabrera agrees to a certain extent. “Mexico will not pay for the wall directly,” she said. They will, however, pay for the wall through possible cuts in aid from the United States and by housing large caravans of migrants in border cities such as Tijuana and Juarez.
Correa-Cabrera closed the event with a round of questions from the audience. Participants were interested in her analysis of current events, and Correa-Cabrera was eager to answer any questions from students.
“I think the event went well,” said Kaptanoglu. “Immigration is a really interesting topic, and it was great to hear more details about border security and U.S.-Mexico relations from a professor I admire.”