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How Will Trump’s Proposed Border Wall Affect Higher Education Collaborations And Exchange?

President Trump pledged to build a “great, great wall” on the U.S.-Mexico border. News reports indicate he will today sign an order to start building the wall. How would such a barrier, if built, affect cross-border higher education collaborations?

In some ways the direct impact could be minimal, as researchers and students crossing the border are generally doing so at designated border crossings, not jumping over the existing fence that already spans more than 650 miles of the 1,954-mile border, 1,279 miles of which run along the Colorado River and the Rio Grande (Trump told MSNBC last February that about 1,000 miles of wall would be needed because the rest of the border includes “natural barriers”). But while the wall itself might not prove a direct barrier to collaboration, some express concern about potential policy changes that could negatively affect U.S.-Mexico relations and the hostile message a wall could send to the U.S.’s southern neighbor.