From sea to shining sea.
A serious barrier to keep those pesky Mexicans out of the United States.
BOTHERSOME neighbours? Build a fence. That's what the United States will do if the House of Representatives gets its way. Try as they will, the authorities seem unable to reduce very much the number of people who cross the Mexican border illegally. They are catching more—over 1m last year—but still they come, so the House has voted to put up some 1,125km (700 miles) of fencing—at a cost, it is said, of $2.2 billion.[snip]
Don't say it won't work. Congressmen are not stupid. They know that the Maginot line, built to guard France's frontier with Germany, did not hold Hitler up for more than ten minutes in 1940: he simply went round the end. They also know that Germany's counterpart, the Siegfried line, did not perform much better, scarcely delaying the American Third Army at all in 1945. They know, too, that the Scots were wily enough to see that, if they scaled Hadrian's wall and jumped down the other side, they were in England, and the Welsh formed the same opinion about Offa's dyke. They know, too, that China's Great Wall proved no impediment to Genghis Khan when he started his big sweep early in the 13th century.[snip]
Some of those lines and walls actually did do their job for a while, keeping the hordes back, or forcing them along to some spot where guards could resist them more easily, or just causing a bit of alarm and despondency. Even so, Congress was plainly not inspired by them. It obviously took heart from another, better wall: the “anti-fascist protection structure” put up in Berlin in 1961. It performed pretty well over 28 years, allowing only some 5,000 people to cross it illegally.The leader is online only for subscribers. However the longer article, Shots across the border, is available for free.
If Congress wants its anti-Mexican fence to be as effective, it should take some leaves out of the East German book. First, forget about lights and cameras; that's Hollywood stuff. Choose instead bunkers, anti-vehicle trenches, lots of concrete and even more barbed wire. Round all that off with minefields, booby-traps, tripwires and machinegun-posts. East Germany was virtually enclosed, so think big: the border barrier will have to be coast-to-coast, 3,200km long, and in the end a fence will not do. It will have to be a wall, as the East Germans discovered.
Anyway, it's good to know at the Bush Administration (with it's generally sensible guest-worker program proposal, which is as of now, going nowhere) is opposed to this initiative.