Miller Argues for East Germany-like Border Security Plan
Speaking of border security, Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller, a Tea Partier who ousted Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the state’s Republican primary, has a proposal for how to make the borders safer: Emulate East Germany.
“The first thing that has to be done is secure the border,” Miller said Sunday. “East Germany was very, very able to reduce the flow. Now, obviously, other things were involved. We have the capacity to, as a great nation, secure the border. If East Germany could, we could.”
Looking past the fact East Germany had more trouble keeping its residents in than keeping immigrants out, how much would it cost to implement East Germany-style border security?
First, it would require building a fence along the country’s borders, which could cost as much as $49 billion over a 25-year lifespan of the fence, according to a non-partisan Congressional Research Service report. That cost accounts for up to $70 million per mile for construction and upkeep of the fence, which would likely be damaged by would-be border crossers. Plus, there would be the cost of acquiring private land along the borders, hiring private contractors for construction and increased staffing of Border Patrol and customs agents along the borders.
Murkowski, who is challenging Miller with a write-in campaign, also supports a border fence. She voted the approve the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which allowed for a fence to be constructed along 700 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border — still a far cry from creating a fence along the entire 1,950-mile border.