Who Says Border Barriers Don’t Work?

Ever since Donald Trump promised to seal our southern border with a massive border wall, his Democrat opponents and others who believe in open borders insisted walls don’t work. They incessantly pooh-poohed the very idea of a physical barrier and called Trump’s border wall a fiasco.

They were wrong.

Allow me to direct you to the European nation of Hungary, which in 2015 erected a 110-mile-long fence along the Hungarian-Serbian border and another along the Hungarian-Croatian border, where 95 percent of the illegal crossings were occurring at the time.

The barriers were a result of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s pledge to stop illegals from flowing into the country.

In 2015, Hungary, along with several other European countries, faced a spike in illegal border crossings. It was the peak of the European migrant crisis, during which more than a million migrants crossed into Europe. Most of these migrants were coming from countries such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Sudan, and Iran.

Hungary’s 14-foot-high double-line fence includes several layers of razor wire capable of delivering electric shocks. It is replete with technology such as cameras, drones, heat sensors, and loudspeakers that tell illegal migrants in various languages they’re about to break Hungarian law if they as much as touch the fence.

       Hungary’s Border Wall is Working

Hungary made illegal border crossing a criminal offense punishable by prison time. It also made it easier to send some asylum seekers back to countries like Serbia, which they designated a “safe country” for those seeking asylum.

On the day its border fence was completed, the influx of illegals entering Hungary dropped from 6,353 per day to 870.  Illegal border crossings all along the Hungarian frontier eventually fell to just 40 per day, Hungarian officials reported.

Hungary had more than 391,000 attempted and completed illegal crossings along its external borders in 2015, up from 44,709 in 2014 and 23,608 in 2013. Many of these migrants were simply passing through on their way to other European countries like Germany, France, Italy, and Sweden, while others sought asylum in Hungary.

By 2016, the number of illegal Hungarian border crossings dropped to 18,236 – a 95 percent decrease in just one year. After the addition of a second fence in 2017, only 1,418 illegal border crossings were recorded—a 99.6 percent decrease from the 2015 peak, according to information released by the Hungarian government.

The EU and Turkey reached an agreement in March 2016 where migrants who had traveled from Turkey to Greece would be sent back. Around the same time, Macedonia, Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia closed off their borders, largely stemming the flow of migrants heading north.

So walls and other barriers don’t work?

“Migrants don’t even try today,” a local border guard told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Is there something the United States can learn from what Hungary has done to secure its borders?

“It is no mystery what the most effective way to handle illegal border crossings is,” Zoltán Kovács, a spokesperson for the Hungarian government, said in a 2017 interview. “Like it or not, and that’s the point we always make, there is no more effective way [to stop] illegal border crossings than building a physical barrier.”

That’s exactly what hundreds, if not thousands, of border patrol officers have been saying for years.

Naturally, their opinions were ignored by Joe Biden, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and many Democrats who see wide-open borders as a way to ensure millions of new Democrat voters.

So far, border officials say some eight million people have entered the United States illegally since Joe Biden took office three years ago and immediately wiped out all of Donald Trump’s successful border policies, including the construction of a border wall, the “Stay in Mexico” program, and the end of the disastrous “Catch and Release” practice.

Migrants at the Texas Border

The result is a wide-open southern border, forcing Texas to enforce its own laws regarding illegal immigration. It has erected miles of razor wire barriers, erected sections of its own border walls, and shut down areas that were once easily accessed by migrants, such as a public park in Eagle Pass that was being used to hold and process those who entered the country illegally.

UPDATE: As I was writing this post, on Monday, the Supreme Court allowed federal immigration agents to remove the razor wire that Texas state officials have set up along some sections of the U.S.-Mexico border to try to discourage migrants from crossing into the country unlawfully. It was a 5-4 decision which saw Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Amy Coney Barrett side with the court’s three liberals, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Ketanji Brown Jackson, in overturning a lower court ruling.

The lower court ruling last year had barred the federal government from removing the razor wire that National Guard soldiers deployed by Gov. Greg Abbott assembled on the banks of the Rio Grande, near the Texas border town of Eagle Pass, a busy sector for illegal crossings.

Oh well.

Meanwhile, the residual impact of Hungary’s closed border policy has had an impact on how several other European nations have handled the problem of illegal migration.

The EU and Turkey have reached an agreement in which migrants who have traveled from Turkey to Greece are sent back to their countries of origin. Other nations such as  Macedonia, Croatia, Slovenia, and Serbia have closed off their borders, essentially stemming the flow of migrants heading north.

If Donald Trump winds up the Republican Party’s nominee for president and if he is elected, might I offer him some advice?

Please contact Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and ask him for advice on stopping illegal migration.

Clearly, Hungary has figured it out.

I wish I could say the same for the U.S. Supreme Court.


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About Ronald E. Yates

Ronald E. Yates is an award-winning author of historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and highly-acclaimed Finding Billy Battles trilogy. Read More About Ron Here

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