Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Border wall is possible - but do we want one?

Donald Trump, who continues to dominate all other Republican presidential hopefuls in the polls, has big plans for the Mexican border. Trump says, as president, he would build a wall to stop illegal immigration.

But this week CNN's Gary Tuchmann reported it would be impossible to build an impenetrable wall along the nearly 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico frontier. Tuchmann basically mocked the idea in his on-site video reportage.

That is a shockingly defeatist attitude and an utterly unrealistic claim. Of course the United States, who put men on the moon more than 40 years ago, could build such a wall. You need a template? I give you the Iron Curtain.

If you build it, they will no longer come

I traversed the Iron Curtain a handful of times back in the 1970s and I assure you that such a fearsome barrier along our border with Mexico would put an end to illegal crossings (and drastically slow lawful passage as well).

The question is whether we Americans want or believe we need a southern border that is on a permanent war footing. The Iron Curtain, perhaps a mile wide in places, was patrolled by the Red Army, including drafted Russian teens with Kalishnikovs and German shepherds. People were killed along the Iron Curtain attempting to escape communism and reach freedom. I lived half of the 1970s in Europe and I hated the Iron Curtain and its little cousin the Berlin Wall. I rejoiced when those instruments of repression were destroyed. Their demise marked a milestone of progress for Europe.

But the question remains: Do we need a modern-day Iron Curtain along our southern border? If Americans want a border wall, trust me CNN, it can be built.

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