2004 August 20 Friday
European Union To Build Fence Along New Eastern Border

The EU is going to be a fence to prevent illegal movement of people into the EU from Russia, Belarus, and the Ukraine.

The fence is being built to separate recently added EU members Poland and Hungary from their new neighbors Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. The EU said the fence is necessary to "prevent the free movement of migrants seeking to enter" EU territory.

Leaders in the EU have of course repeatedly condemned Israel's construction of a barrier (fence in some sections, concrete wall in others and with sensors, access road, and other support elements) to keep Palestinian terrorists from killing Jews. Part of the opposition to the barrier is its routing. It cuts many miles into the West Bank to take in isolated Jewish settlements and I agree with the critics who argue that the Israelis should not cut up the West Bank in this manner. However, the Israelis definitely should build a barrier to separate themselves from the Palestinians. The only question to debate is its exact routing.

"It's incredible the EU has no problem building a fence just to keep illegal immigrants out, but when the Jewish State builds a security fence as a last resort for the purpose of keeping terrorists out and saving Israeli lives, we are blasted by them and the U.N.," a spokesman for Ariel Sharon told WorldNetDaily. "Makes you think, doesn't it?"

Yes it does make me think. But my thoughts are a bit different than those of the Ariel Sharon spokesman. My thoughts on both the EU and Israeli fences translate into feelings of envy: The United States should emulate Israel and the EU and build our own barrier along our border with Mexico in order to keep out both illegal aliens and terrorists.

A barrier along the US-Mexican border would cost less than $10 billion and would pay for itself just from a reduction of taxpayer expenditures on health care for illegal aliens.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2004 August 20 12:32 PM  Immigration Border Barrier


Comments
ThomasW said at August 22, 2004 4:49 AM:

Uh, unless there's a reason the border is and always has been porous...

The economic benefits of migrants are many - the fact that they do jobs you might personally not want to do, the fact they do it for rates you might not bother, the flowon business of shops, food, housing, Disney toys etc, high economic growth generated by the Latino community, the high proportion of working-age people... these are all important economic factors.

You can personally get a job picking fruit for few $ an hour if you want. Tends to only be migrants who'll do this, though. And were you really wanting to pay more (quite a lot more) for your fruit, vege, fastfood, groceries etc etc? Obviously there's a balance here, maybe there are more innovative economic strategies out there to address both sides of the issue but this seems to be how it works at the moment.

This flow has been coming for what, 30+ years now, with pretty much tacit acceptance by successive local & national goverments. Such partial allowance obviously in regard of the benefits. The flow has to be limited to moderate levels of course, but sealing the border would cause the US significant economic damage.


Cheers,
Thomas

Max said at August 22, 2004 8:19 AM:

If there were not swarms of illegal aliens coming into the USA on a regular basis, then business would simply have to use some brainpower to find a way to make profits without using semi-slave labor.

Randall Parker said at August 22, 2004 10:52 AM:

Thomas,

There are substantial costs associated with illegal alien immigrant labor as well. The question is whether the costs or benefits are greater.

See some of my past posts on illegal immigrant costs including Welfare Costs Not The Only Costs Of Immigrants, Big Medicare Bill Has $1 Billion For Illegal Alien Medical Care, Heather Mac Donald On The Illegal Alien Crime Wave, , One Year Of Illegal Alien Health Care Costs Would Pay For Border Barrier, , Illegal Immigration Drives Up Number Of Medically Uninsured, Thinking About Bush's Less Than Half-Baked Worker Permit Proposal, and Richard Lamm On Harmful Immigration.

Low income immigrants receive much more in benefits from the government than they pay in taxes. We can not afford a large influx of low skilled immigrants that are creating a growing Recipient Class of people who get more in benefits from the government than they pay in taxes.

We can not afford immigrants whose children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren do poorly in school.

John S Bolton said at August 22, 2004 11:45 PM:

Today, we inherit the results of a high wall of transportation costs, around a few rich countries, which have allowed up to a 100-fold differential in production per capita to be built up. Without one or another sort of wall against labor flow, almost all the productive capital in use in these countries is surplus; it should be removed more and more, until all the available labor in the world is employed. The exception would be industries like oil refining, where there is no labor cheap enough to displace the capital used to automate that kind of production, or where substituting hand labor is not even possible. Calling it nativism to say this, does not successfully wish away the facts; that labor and capital are substitutable for each other in a high degree, and that the law of supply and demand applies to each of these.

John S Bolton said at August 23, 2004 12:43 AM:

Looking at census.gov, it appears that the median age of immigrants is several years higher than that of the total population-38:35. For years we were told that immigrants would pay the social security, but how can they if they're older? The fact that the pro-immigrationists have to lie should tell us something. There are drawbacks that they don't want us to know about, much less mention publicly, and more disturbingly, the pro-immigrationist motivations have got to be different from what they advertise. This information was under f for foreign-born, data table 2.16 from 99 and 00, 'median age and income'. Also the median income of persons from the above tables, is only ~15,000 a year for 80's and 90's immigrants. This makes it extremely difficult for them to be net taxpayers.

Charlie said at August 23, 2004 6:33 AM:

Do any statistics exist which show the impact of illegal immigration on the ability of American teens and twenty-somethings to find jobs?

We always hear that the immigrants are doing work that no American would. But it occurs to me that many of these jobs are the sort of thing that used to be our introduction to the workplace. I remember some long, exhausting days in a mattress factory back in the seventies (and that even then, a third of the workers were Mexicans.)

Yes, picking fruit is exhausting, mind-numbing work and no one would want to make a career of it. But where else are people without skills going to go?

Philip Nelson said at August 23, 2004 8:03 AM:

Economic impact aside, the fact remains that the immigrants are illegal. Either we need to keep them out, or change the laws so that most are legal, and so we can control access. Non-enforcement means anyone can slip across. Either solution would allow us to more efficiently keep out terrorists, and the like.

Just as an impression, it seems to me that it may well be that the immigration laws themselves should be relaxed somewhat, but enforced stringently. A fence would help tremendously....

Conrad said at August 25, 2004 12:39 PM:

Barriers are only a first step. Constant unmanned surveillance from lighter than air and heavier than air vehicles as well. If the border patrol can't handle the expanse, and the military can't do the job, unleash volunteer organizations to patrol the border areas to detain and help deport illegals.
You can't completely stop this traffic, but you can cut the numbers significantly and raise the expense.

John S Bolton said at August 28, 2004 1:39 PM:

Effective barriers against immigrants who are not likely to become net taxpayers except to a negligible extent, and only after decades in more than a small proportion of cases, would save hundreds of billions per year, by the time a few decades had passed. This can be determined by using Huddle's estimates and adding on the cost of public education for 10.5+ million children of foreign-born in public schools at $8,800 a year=~$100 billion. The more stringent the operation of such barriers becomes, in restricting the additions to the unproductive part of the population, the more productive the defended zone will be, relative to the alternative cases.

C. E. Whitehead said at September 14, 2004 7:14 PM:

I just think fences have got to be the ugliest and most unnatural thing in the world, in spite of Frost's poem "Mending Wall" (I do like the poem, and would not hesitate to put a fence up myself if I had property, actually, to make myself feel safer).

But I think we have to deal with this labor flow issue some other way, and I think people could boat around a fence anyway.

My opinion is for expanding economic sharing to geographic neighbors selecting natural barriers, such as massive mountain ranges or vast deserts such as the Sahara which peoples rarely cross as the best borders.

If Russia and so on have rugged mountains, there will be little crossing of that border; mountains and deserts that are scarcely populated are the best borders. So are wide seas (the Gulf of Mexico, Black Sea, and Mediterranean are hardly that).

I do also feel that nations that benefitted from slavery and colonial expansion, and that have differentiated the money systems have left some sort of a legacy they must account for.

But I wonder about the third world nations that are anxious to live at Western standards, with Western TV, electricity, clothing, etc. You find that what was really important was the land, the air, the water, not all the new disposable goods; and at the end those are the things you no longer have.

But for land, air, and water on the planet Earth, it is already just about too late. And remember this land is not ours; we have yet to pay any animal for taking its land; we just take it!

I am with Yeats, this is the little halfway house of civilization that we climb toward in about 2550 A.D. as we enter the age of Aquarius (Yeats, "Lapis Lazuli,"), and I think human civilization will end in the age of Scorpio; hey even dinosaurs had their day. Who says we are more suited than they, or that the Earth was more created for us than for them? I think it will be good when the Earth reverts to other creatures.

John S Bolton said at September 21, 2004 2:53 AM:

Intriguing to have the anti-human perspective on barriers against the bleeding-in of the poor to the richer welfare societies. An aesthetic which prefers the unmodified natural environment, says do not build them. It prevents the wealth from being shared, and we need to destroy civilization anyway, in order to help the wild species, would seem to be the implication, and a nihilistic one.

Alexander Osterhuber said at May 18, 2005 6:31 AM:

I think we should finaly build a fence to kep immigrants out of the european union specily muslims the should stay where
ever the come from

MARTIN STRICKLAND said at June 27, 2005 9:48 AM:

OUR SOUTHERN BORDER IS ALMOST NON - EXISTANT. MEXICO'S GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS INSULT OUR GOVERNMENT AND OUR CITIZENS. HIREING AN ILLEGAL ALIEN IS AGAINST OUR LAWS. ILLEGAL ALIENS FLOODING OUR COUNTRY FROM OUR SOUTHERN BORDER IS COSTING AMERICAN TAXPAYERS BILLIONS ANNUALY, AND OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. THE DRAIN OF AMERICAN MONEY SPENT IN THE MANAGMENT OF ILLEGAL ALIENS IN THIS COUNTRY COULD EASILY BE SPENT ON ENFORCING OUR IMMIGRATION LAWS AND AND STOPPING THIS MASSIVE FLOOD THAT IS BLEEDING OUR COUNTRY DRY. ANY AMERICAN POLITICIAN WHO SUPPORTS OR IGNORES THIS VIOLATION OF OUR LAWS SHOULD FACE EXPULSION FROM WHAT EVER OFFICE THAT HE / SHE OCCUPIES.


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