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One of Trump’s biggest campaign promises was a wall on the America – Mexico border. The recent record-breaking shutdown ended with a 3-week extension for current funding, but the battle for Trump’s wall is still happening.
However, a big controversy arose from 2009 speech where Chuck Schumer, the current Senate Minority Leader, supposedly supported a 700-mile fence around our southern border. Regardless of whether it is actually true or not, is there really a difference between a wall and a fence?
Wall: noun, \ˈwȯl \
- a: a high thick masonry structure forming a long rampart or an enclosure chiefly for defense —often used in plural
- b: a masonry fence around a garden, park, or estate
- c: a structure that serves to hold back pressure (as of water or sliding earth)
- one of the sides of a room or building connecting floor and ceiling or foundation and roof
- the side of a footpath next to buildings
- an extreme or desperate position or a state of defeat, failure, or ruin
- a material layer enclosing space
- something resembling a wall (as in appearance, function, or effect)
- especially:something that acts as a barrier or defense
Fence: noun, \ ˈfen(t)s \
- archaic:a means of protection: DEFENSE
- a barrier intended to prevent escape or intrusion or to mark a boundary
- especially:such a barrier made of posts and wire or boards
- an immaterial barrier or boundary
- a receiver of stolen goods
- a place where stolen goods are bought
Source: Merriam Webster: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fence, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wall The definition we are looking would be #1 for wall, and #2 for fence. Definition #1 refers to a physical structure that is chiefly used for defense. Definition #2 refers to a barrier, both physical and not physical. Both of these are mainly related to defense. Furthermore, the Merriam Webster defines a wall as “something resembling a wall (as in appearance, function, or effect),” Since a fence, in this case, shares the same function as a wall (defense), we can conclude that a fence can be called a wall.
Chuck Schumer VS. Donald Trump
While a wall and a fence are technically the same, the actual specifications for them vary. Chuck Schumer once said that a 700-mile fence along our border helped curb crime. On the other hand, Trump wants a 2000+ mile long “wall” along our entire Mexico – U.S. border.