Date of Project


Document Type

Honors Thesis

School Name

College of Arts and Sciences



Major Advisor

Dr. Francis Hutchins

Second Advisor

Dr. Abigail Hall Blanco

Third Advisor

Dr. Frank Raymond


During the 2016 presidential election, the construction of a border wall along the United States – Mexico border came to the forefront of the political sphere in America. Since then, state governments along the border have continued the call for increased border security through increased fencing. However, the ideation of a border wall was not a new one for American border security, with most of the wall having been constructed following the Secure Fence Act of 2006. The purpose of this paper is to explore the political economy of wall construction along the border. The argument is made that the wall was not constructed in a manner to best deter migrant crossings and increase national security, but rather as a function of political favor and a symbol of political theater.