Wednesday, October 20, 2010

E. Germany's Wall a model for sealing border: US politician

October 18, 2010

LOS ANGELES — The United States could learn from East Germany's effectiveness in sealing its border with the Wall during the Cold War, a local politician seeking election to the US Senate has said.

Republican candidate Joe Miller, a Senate candidate in Alaska for November 2 mid-term elections, made the comments when discussing immigration at a town hall meeting reported by the Anchorage Daily News.

Miller said that, when he was serving in the US military, he spent time at the Fulda Gap near Frankfurt, a key point on the frontline between the then East and West Germanies.

"That was .. when the Wall was still up between East and West Germany, he said in an audio clip on the Alaska newspaper's website.

"East Germany was very, very able to reduce the flow," Miller said, adding: "Obviously there were other things that were involved, but we have the capacity as a great nation to obviously secure our border.

"If East Germany could do it, we could do it," Miller said, adding: "Frankly my perspective is, you've got to build a fence."

Miller's spokesman did not immediately return requests for a comment on the remarks, which come barely two weeks before mid-term elections across the United States next month.

Immigration is a potent issue in the United States, still struggling to recover from the global economic crisis. While some fret about foreigners potentially taking scarce US jobs, most Americans have a hard time opposing immigration energetically when most are descended from immigrants.

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