The flow of illegal immigrants from Mexico into the U.S. is undeniably a problem, although there have been sharp declines in recent years. But Joe Miller’s solution – a Berlin Wall across the southern border of the U.S. – is an obscene, despicable idea.
The Berlin Wall was built in 1961 to stop the outflow of citizens from Communist East Germany to democratic West Germany. After World War II and the creation of a divided German, the exodus of East Germans was dramatic. By 1961, 25% of the total population and as much as 50% of the intelligentsia had left. East Germany erected the wall to stop the flow of its citizens to freedom and opportunity.
West Berlin Mayor Willy Brandt called it the “Wall of Shame.” East German guards had orders to shoot to kill if East Germans tried to cross the Death Strip, the no-man’s land between the two concrete fences. And kill they did; perhaps as many as 200-300 desperate East Germans died trying to escape. Many were shot by their own soldiers. The guards sometimes let fugitives bleed to death in the middle of this ground, as in the most notorious failed attempt, that of Peter Fechter (aged 18). He was shot and bled to death, in full view of Western media, on August 17, 1962.
Nor was the Wall of Shame particularly effective. At least 5,000 East Germans escaped via a variety of methods while the Wall was in place.
And this wall was only 97 miles long. Joe Miller apparently wants to build a Wall of Shame along the entire U.S. – Mexico border, a distance of more than 1,969 miles.
Will American soldiers shoot immigrants trying to escape from poverty and despotism to the United States? Will Joe Miller build two fences, separated by a Death Strip? For a time, East German soldiers would let the citizens they shot lie in the Death Strip, bleeding to death. Will Joe Miller, the virulently “pro life” candidate, allow Central Americans to also lay in his Death Strip, bleeding to death?
When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, the world rejoiced. There were tears of joy, dancing on the fragments of the wall that weren’t torn down by citizens with sledge hammers. Do you suppose there will be similar rejoicing when Miller’s Wall is built? Will another Ronald Reagan appear to say, “Mr. Miller, build this Wall up,” instead of “Tear this Wall down”?
Miller said, “We have the capacity as a great nation to obviously secure our border. If East Germany could do it, we could do it.”
WC agrees the United States is a great nation, easily great enough to find a way to address the problem of illegal immigrants. Without emulating a brutal East German Communist dictatorship. Without machine gun nests at regular intervals. Without shoot to kill orders.
And without electing anyone, absolutely anyone, who would suggest otherwise.