One of the promises of the new President of the United States, Donald Trump, was to build a wall on the border with Mexico. Since announcing his intention to compete for the Republican presidential nomination, Trump unleashed strong criticism of Mexican immigrants, stating that “A nation without borders is not a nation at all.”
Although Trump’s measures continue to hog the headlines, migration is also a subject of conflict on the other side of the Atlantic.
Last year Europe reported the arrival of 503,700 irregular migrants to its territory, and some 4,500 people perished in the attempt. Increasing migration movement is the result of instability in the Middle East, civil wars and conflicts in Africa, as well as terrorist groups operating in those areas.
While in 1989, Europe knocked down the famous Berlin Wall, ending decades of political, economic, and social division, the current migratory crisis in the region has led a number of countries in the area to believe that the construction of impassable border fences may be the solution.
According to Reuters, since the fall of the renowned German wall, European nations have built or set in motion fences stretching some 1,200 kilometers, at a cost of 500 million dollars, although erecting walls and fences will not prevent migrants from continuing to flee their countries of origin, but rather force them to embark on more dangerous routes to Europe.
Last year the United Kingdom reported its financing of a wall in the French port of Calais to prevent immigrants from reaching its territory.
The wall, which will extend one kilometer and be four meters high, will complement a series of existing fences aimed at separating the improvised migrant camp, called the “Jungle,” from the access route to the port.
In the early 1990s, Spain built fences in Ceuta and Melilla, two autonomous Spanish cities on the African continent, which represent a direct entry point into Europe from Africa.
The wall cost 30 million euros - paid in part by the EU - and barbed wire was used.
Norway will build a wall 200 meters long and four high, at a border post with Russia to contain migration, in case of a resumption.
Hungary constructed a four-meter-high wall that stretches across its 175 kilometer border with Serbia. It was recently revealed that the nation will build a second fence along the border with Serbia, which will have sensors, surveillance and thermal imaging cameras.
Austria erected a 2.5 meter high fence on its southern border with Slovenia.
According to the then Austrian Interior Minister, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, “This is about ensuring an orderly, controlled entry into our country, not about shutting down the border.” El Mundo highlighted that the official avoided the use of the word ‘fence’ in her speech.
January 1 – March 12, 2017
• 19,653 immigrants and refugees arrived in Europe.
• 521 people died crossing the Mediterranean Sea attempting to reach the European continent.
January 1 – March 12, 2016
• 152,701 immigrants and refugees arrived in Europe.
• 564 people died crossing the Mediterranean Sea attempting to reach the European continent.
• Year in which the arrival of irregular migrants to Europe reached a record number: 1.8 million.