Border walls stop poor people, not invasions

08/17/2011 | (Tampa, Fla.)

Countries that build border walls tend to justify the barriers as anti-terrorism measures, but socioeconomic factors are more strongly linked to their construction, writes Reece Jones, assistant professor of geography at the University of Hawaii. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, average per capita GDP in nations that have built the walls is $14,067; for those on the other side, it is $2,801. Walls "do not stop the missiles or fighter jets of an invading army, nor are they any better than a map at representing the edges of different legal or political systems. However, border walls are relatively effective at preventing the movement of people," he writes.

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