The Border Fence Is Not a "Berlin Wall"

I watched a little bit of Lou Dobb’s Town Hall on Immigration on CNN last night. A couple of panelists referred to the proposed border fence as a “Berlin Wall”. No, you disingenuous pricks, it is not the same thing; the Berlin Wall kept people “in”!! Whatever your opinion on immigration and the proposed wall, at least talk honestly about it.

Surely from a Mexican perspective, the fence IS keeping people “in”…

That fence won’t keep them from going to Guatemala or Belize.

I thought the Berlin Wall kept people “out” - of West Berlin.

West Berlin was not keeping them out, the east Germans had the guns pointing at their own citizens.

So do you think that the Berlin Wall, built by E Germany, and armed with machine guns pointed at their own citizens to prevent them from leaving, is a good analogy to the US border fence?

Much like the walls of my house keep everybody else “in” the world, and “out” of my house. Surely if you’re against using The Great Wall of The Southwest to keep Mexicans, et. al. from entering American illegally, you must be against using the walls of your own house to keep people from entering your home illegally.

I think there are many similarities, and one major difference.

The Berlin Wall was built to stop people going to a more prosperous economy.
It also prevented people seeing their relatives.
It was built between two areas that used to be the same country.

I realise that the new wall is built by the country keeping people out, rather than in, but I don’t think that matters much. A lengthy wall has hostile connotations (e.g. Chinese v barbarians; Palestine v Arabs).

The major difference is that the East Germans were ready to kill.
I know the US Government isn’t doing that (although have there been any incidents with the vigilantes?).
(Sadly I have to add that the current international reputation of the US will lead many people to assume the worst.)

It’s what? A 2 thousand mile border? And a 700 mile mfence?

Do the math. It’s not a Berlin Wall, or a Great Wall. It’s the Comic Wall of Political Expedience.

It will do nothing but enrich some fencing materials suppliers, and be a backdrop for a bunch of 2008 political commercials.

How is this any different than the proposed fence on the border?

I still have trouble with the Mexican government POV in this situation. I guess if the poorest Mexicans keep flocking to the US then they don’t have to address their domestic problems.

If the Mexicans were building it, it would be comparable.


And cheaper too.


Misses the point. Generally speaking the wall would be to keep people from moving to a more prosperous economy. The wall can keep people from seeing their relatives and the wall would be across land that used to belong to one country.

You’re missing the point, that the function of the Berlin wall was to prevent emigration.

but it’s not being done to them by their own government.

I nominate this for the newly-created award of Best Topical SDMB Post of All Time.

In fact, I’m going to steal that for my away message.

A better comparison would be with the “Great Wall” of China: it is an attempt to prevent an invasion. In this case, a perceived invasion of thousands of illegal aliens fleeing a poverty-stricken, corrupt country who want to enter a wealthy, corrupt country.

I’ve got no problem with a fence and tighter border security. Not just from the south but from the north as well. There are tons of places where you can literally step across from Canada to the US and no one would ever have a clue. I don’t want Hoozbin Fahrtin and Warzee bin-Hidin driving into Montana in a Ryder truck full of ANFO.

If we want to show we are serious about protecting our borders, then go whole hog. Razor wire, mines, rabid pit bulls, lady wrestlers with PMS, disgruntled postal workers and Amway salespeople should be spread along the border. Otherwise it’s just all for show.

As for the people running, swimming and jumping across the border (wow, it sounds like the Illegal Alien Steeplechase), they should try to make their country better and not flee to the US. Overthrow their government, kick out the corrupt politicians, rebuild the infrastructure, fight the crime. If they could clean up their own house, they could really kick ass. Instead it seems like people are either just considering their status as a fait accompli or else leaving the country.

A) To prevent them from moving illegally to another country. The relative prosperity explains why they want to enter illegally, but not why the wall is built.

B) Said relatives, to a very large degree, also entered illegally.

C) All land used to belong to another country. It is a strained analogy indeed that compares a single nation of persons who, by and large all speak one language, but is artificially divided as a consequence of war, to two different sovereign nations of decidedly different languages, customs, politics, etc.

Important for the neo-Godwinisers: never mind the legality of entering West Berlin, it was illegal to leave East Germany without permission. It’s not illegal, under Mexican law, to leave Mexico.