Grandma Was Right! Good fences (and Border Barriers) Do Make Good Neighbors

Your grandma probably told you, “Good fences make good neighbors.” It turns out, she was right. Here’s why: Fences keep uninvited guests out of your backyard.

North Waziristan sits astride Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan. The terrain is extremely rugged and difficult for the Pakistan Frontier Corps (the local equivalent of the U.S. Border Patrol) to monitor.

As a result, the region has long been the pipeline via which Afghan smugglers, bandits and terrorists unlawfully enter Pakistan. The lawless nature of the region has prompted U.S. military and diplomatic officials to classify North Waziristan as “the most dangerous place on Earth.”

Pakistan has finally had enough. It’s solution?  It’s building 1,800 miles of border fence. You know, the type that American media pundits claim won’t work.

Of course, Pakistan just seems to be copying the highly effective solution employed by its next-door neighbor. India built a 340-mile double-layer fence to keep out bad guys trying to enter its territory from Pakistan.

You see, India has had problems along its borders with both Pakistan and Bangladesh. Those boundaries are marked by long stretches of tough topography that are difficult to police and popular with border-crossing miscreants.

The Indian solution, build a fence. It’s been so effective, India has decided to expand the 350 miles of fence along the Indo-Pakistani border and increase the number of fenced sections along its border with Bangladesh.

On the other side of the world, Hungary built a barrier along its borders with Serbia and Croatia. It was constructed in response to the 2015 migrant crisis. The number of illegal aliens entering Hungary declined precipitously.

So, what about the arguments that border barriers are an ineffective waste of cash or a an excuse for “racism”? Well, it’s fairly safe to say that Hungary spent a lot less on its fence than it did processing, feeding and housing illegal aliens until they were resettled in other European Union countries. And the Indian and Pakistani walls are clearly tactical responses to specific threats, rather than the implementation of supremacist policies.

Perhaps countries build walls for the obvious reason. They work. Good fences really do make good neighbors. Now it’s time for President Trump to fulfill his promise to American voters and build a wall along our Southern Border.

About Author


Matthew J. O’Brien joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016. Matt is responsible for managing FAIR’s research activities. He also writes content for FAIR’s website and publications. Over the past twenty years he has held a wide variety of positions focusing on immigration issues, both in government and in the private sector. Immediately prior to joining FAIR Matt served as the Chief of the National Security Division (NSD) within the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), where he was responsible for formulating and implementing procedures to protect the legal immigration system from terrorists, foreign intelligence operatives, and other national security threats. He has also held positions as the Chief of the FDNS Policy and Program Development Unit, as the Chief of the FDNS EB-5 Division, as Assistant Chief Counsel with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, as a Senior Advisor to the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, and as a District Adjudications Officer with the legacy Immigration & Naturalization Service. In addition, Matt has extensive experience as a private bar attorney. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from the Johns Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law.

1 Comment

  1. avatar

    Those against the building of walls and fences come up with every nonsensical argument under the sun. They talk about illegals walking through miles of desert carrying 30 foot ladders, and ignoring the fact that they would be seen doing that and once they got to the top of a fence they would have to balance themselves, pull up a heavy ladder and place it on the other side without having it or themselves fall.

    Then they talk about tunneling underneath, but that only works in urban areas where there are buildings to hide the entrances and exits. It is expensive and time consuming and the tunnels must be fairly lengthy. The Border Patrol has also been able to use ground imaging equipement to detect more of them.

    In the vast amount of open areas along the border, anyone attempting to start even the shortest tunnel will be easily seen before they can possibly get it completed. It’s the media that helps promote this idea that fences won’t work. Just like they are now trying to gin up racial tensions again in the matter of Stephon Clark in Sacramento, like they did with Michael Brown in Ferguson, where even the Obama Justice Dept. completely cleared the cop in the end. But never mind the facts or that both had been committing crimes before they were shot.