America’s Berlin Wall

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryOne of the consequences of September 11th has been the building by the United States of a super border wall between America and Mexico. Probably few things have come to symbolize America’s paranoia with security than this border wall. As a para-military boundary it has not been effective in stopping illicit drug shipments, migrants trying to get into the United States from Mexico, and the drug cartels smuggling in people and drugs to America while buying and stealing weapons to smuggle into Mexico for their own purposes.

The real casualty of what is being called “America’s Berlin Wall” is the former connection between American and Mexican towns and cities. Before the wall, those connections linked not only people but open commerce, cultural and political exchanges, and even inter-town and inter-city games. Before the wall local American and Mexican communities were able to freely visit each other. Before the wall Mexican families on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border could go to and from far more easily than now. Before the wall ordinary Americans and Mexicans living on both sides realized that they had to live with each other than hold suspicious views.

But alas the wall is the brainchild of the politicians in Washington, D.C. who feared that “terrorists” might come through Mexico into the United States. Fact of the matter is this has not happened. Those terrorists who came into the United States on September 11th and those afterwards came in legally by airplane. Fact of the matter is that no “terrorist” attacks have ever been launched from Mexico, and of all the undocumented who have been arrested and deported—not one ever had ties to any known terrorist organizations. The wall, like the thinking in Washington, D.C., is a sad commentary of the times we live in. What is equally sad is that the wall was a decision made 1,500 miles away without taking into consideration the historical and social links that have always existed along the border between the United States and Mexico. All I can say, para-phrasing the words of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, is, “tear down this wall!”

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