The New Berlin Wall?


The wall along the U.S.-Mexico border is the new Berlin Wall. It offends both Mexicans and Americans. It comforts some Americans. And it keeps expanding. Some $2.4 billion has been spent since 2005 on a still-unfinished project to erect more than 600 miles of new fence along the US-Mexico border. Yet the new fencing has been breached more than 3,000 times, costing $1,300 for the average repair.

Now controversy is heating up over the border wall again. Besides the inflating costs, the wall is destroying countless ecosystems, as the borderlands contain federally protected areas and plants and animals found nowhere else on earth. Environmental groups and laws are holding up construction, much to conservatives’ displeasure. Fences built along the U.S.-Mexico border are threatening wildlife species and the ground pollution it is creating is catastrophic. Technologically, the construction of the fence is a structural nightmare that continues to divide human families. Will this wall ever end?

Happy holidays, folks.

*Edit: Comments have been closed, the volume was getting out of control. Thanks for reading and contributing, though.

Photo via National Geographic


Comments 25

  1. unclerave December 24, 2009

    Interesting blog! I like blogs with a social conscience. Your posts are short and easy to read, and they come with a relevant photo. I sometimes include photos with my posts too. I often worry that my posts are not long enough to be considered “substantial” or “serious”, so I don’t post enough of my “serious” ideas/thoughts/opinions on any regular basis. I DO post my daily spoilers (often with commentary), but they would probably be considered “fluff”. I call myself an “unreal writer”, because I am not a trained journalist. If you get a chance I’d like you to visit my blog. Poke around all you like. I can always use a more qualified opinion.

    Keep up the good work!


  2. Pete December 24, 2009

    The fact that the wall has been breached 3000+ times just shows the need for a wall (perhaps one that does a better job). How much more has is cost Americans to support illegal immigrants in welfare taxes and other expenses? I don’t have the answer but I can bet it is a lot more.

      • mariano December 24, 2009

        ask them. i’m from new jersey and i know they get it. they also increase our inflation due to the simple fact that they send money home ALL the time. thus, decreasing its flow into our communities. Bigger wall!!!!!!!

  3. Arminiastern December 24, 2009

    Oj, bitte keine neue Mauer mehr! Die hier in Deutschland war schon schlimm…

  4. Tina December 24, 2009

    I agree. What’s the point if there isn’t further security to assist the breaching of the wall? And besides…that’s just putting a bandaid on the symptom instead of curing the problem. I’m not too convinced either that we should be stopping those that are seeking a better life. The ones to prosecute would be those people that hire them immigrants illegally and undercut pay of American citizens…this helps no one.

    Nice blog – I will be visiting again šŸ™‚

  5. charles December 24, 2009

    how does the wall divide families? by preventing illegal immigrants from visiting their illegal immigrant relatives? let them get a passport and take a bus through customs like everyone else.

    • landoftrolls December 24, 2009

      @charles, the US-Mexico border as it now stands is less than two hundred years old. The land was not empty before the border existed, and the people living in the area of the border did not simply disappear. Therefor, when the border came along, families were divided by it, and their descendents continue to be divided by it. The border wall is an offence against all decent humanity.

  6. pobept December 24, 2009

    I can see you never patrolled the East / West border in Germany. I did! First off ‘that’ fence was designed to keep East Germans from defecting to West Germany It was designed to keep captive people unwilling to live under a communist dictator government. Compare apples to apples!

    This fence to designed and in the most part has been effect at deterring criminal Illegal Aliens from entering the United States Illegally. They are Federal Criminals if they enter the United States without proper documentation! I really don’t care if it ugly or it stops some critter from freely moving in and out of the United States.
    Please sight a reliable source for it polluting the soil!

    If it takes a fence to secure our southern border then I’m all for it.

  7. 6 December 24, 2009

    I agree. Whats the point if there isnt further security to assist the breaching of the wall? And besidesthats just putting a bandaid on the symptom instead of curing the problem. Im not too convinced either that we should be stopping those that are seeking a better life. The ones to prosecute would be those people that hire them immigrants illegally and undercut pay of American citizensthis helps no one.Nice blog I will be visiting again

    • pobept December 25, 2009

      Illegals are a problem, you have heard it all so wont rehash that.
      I don’t have a problem with ‘Legal’ immigration, those that are willing to go through the proper channels and to obtain proper, legal documentation and want to become Americans, not Mexicans living in the United States.
      Happy New Year

  8. My Social Relevance December 24, 2009

    Yeah I agree how does it divide families? It is the choice of the individual to cross the border illegally. It is they who are separating themselves. The wall is nothing when compared to the DMZ in korea. There you risk you life crossing the border.

  9. vagrant December 24, 2009

    As a person of both Latin and Native American decent I see the implication of dividing families but that division doesn’t come from a wall, it comes from a lack of a system where someone can travel from one side to the other on a work visa or visitation pass to see that one’s family member. If the wall wasn’t there that person would still have to sneak back and forth and is still illegal. As for the wild life and eco-system have you been south of the border lately and seen what the lack of proper sewage, toxic dumping, and over all lack of environmental check and balances the country of Mexico has done? The Sonoran Desert is a vast and harsh environment where a meesly fence could never inflict radical damage on. And last, check up on your history of the Berlin Wall, yes compare an apple to an apple!! Mexico doesn’t shoot their people if they try to escape North and last I checked we don’t smuggle political refugees out of Mexico and grant them asylum. This is tough and complicated issue and yes it requires more thought than a fence or naysayers sitting and complaining about that fence from the nose bleed sections. Do you have a solution to the problem, what is it? When was the last time you went down to the city colleges and taught English speaking and writing skills or American History to people studying up for their Naturalization test? I have. What’s your contribution going to be? Your overall message though of how we should be building bridges instead of fences I agree with!

    • okeowo December 24, 2009

      I thank you for contributing your point of view, but don’t feel it is necessary for me to teach English to understand this issue. As a journalist, I am interested in looking at all sides of the issue, one side being that Mexican families complain of not being able to see their relatives in the States due to stringent anti-Mexican immigration legislation, such as this wall.

  10. Marianne December 24, 2009

    I do not find it offensive. It is meant to keep out criminals. The ones who should be offended are those who have to admit and support the criminals.

  11. Todd Fitchette December 24, 2009

    How can you compare this to the wall which separated residents and even family members from the same country? Last I checked the United States is a sovereign nation, as is Mexico. The two are not a single country.
    Maybe we wouldn’t need a wall if we’d simply enforce the laws we already have and stop providing a free ride to every person who illegally enters our nation.
    It’s ironic that Mexico’s policy on illegal immigrants is much more harsh than ours, and yet your point of view makes it seem like we’re committing some sort of evil by simply wanting to protect our borders and our sovereignty.

  12. Takahara Suiko December 25, 2009

    Of course everybody doesn’t want immigrants to suck their government’s money.
    Immigrants should not immigrate into America illegally.

    But a Berlin Wall?


  13. Pman007 December 25, 2009

    Wow very interesting blog. To be honest I never really thought/compare it the Berlin wall. Although in sense it is kindof true both are similar. I’m an permanent resident here in the us, got here legally from Asia. (citizen in less than a year) I am practically
    American now with all my american friends. One side I do pay taxes and I don’t necessary want to pay toward illegal immigrants, on the other I do care for them…

    This issue has always been the grey area for me, not necessary black or white opinion on it.

    Anyone kinda on the same boat?

  14. michawirk December 25, 2009

    Interesting and thought provoking…
    As a German one wonders about the validity of the comparison. But then if you think about what happens along this border, or if you just look at the pictures one starts to realize the inhumanity in it.

    I write a little blog for my English classes at Montessori-Gymnasium in Cologne, Germany and will put a link to your post. Hopefully my students will read other material on your blog too.

    Have a good Christmas and a happy new year!


  15. softballgirl78 December 25, 2009

    I disagree with the statement that is a Berlin Wall. This is two countries seperated by a wall and the Berlin Wall basically cut Germany (one country) in half. And the wall keeps expanding because more and more illegal immigrants are finding ways to get past the wall. Tax payers do not want to pay for illegal immigrants. They can get their citizenship and become citizens of the United States, not live as an illegal immigrant.

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