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Borders of New Europe and the U.S.-Mexico BorderView Full Description

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James Woodford

The borders of the new Europe and the United States-Mexican border can be seen as similar in many respects. One major similarity is that governments want to open the borders to ease legal trade and cross border travel, but at the same time have it as secure as possible (Andreas, 2009). After the fall of the Eastern Bloc and the drawback of military forces from the borders, the focus was on keeping undesirable elements out of Western Europe. This fear was increased by the collapse of the Eastern Bloc governments who had travel restrictions in place throughout the cold war that were harshly enforced. Additionally, the dream of having an open Europe, with no internal borders complicated this even further.  This internal open border policy could place potential strain on the more guarded real border, the Polish-German border or the border between Spain and Morocco for example, and degrade internal security within Europe proper. By strain I mean that most focus is placed on these borders and the internal policing and enforcement of borders is potentially non-existent due to the no border internal European policy

To me that seems like the way things are in the United States at some point. The Border “War” raged on at the southern border, but it appeared that once this obstacle was surpassed, illicit organizations have a pretty easy job getting around the United States unchecked. 

A huge difference seems to be that Europe has embraced this approach to border security. Not much was heard about any problems with this approach until recently with the onset of the migration of refugees from war torn Syria. With the onset of this crisis millions of refugees poured into Europe in hope for a better life. Once they reached the European Union, they were able to just move around freely within it, without having to get checked when crossing “borders’ into another part of the European Union (Beauchamp, 2015).

This is similar to the United States. Once people illegally enter the country, it is easy for them to move around. People argue that it is illegal profiling to ask people what their immigration status is. The same is being argued in Europe, when people say it is against the spirit of the European Union to institute border crossing controls within Europe (Beauchamp, 2015).

James Woodford


Andreas, P. (2009). Border games policing the US-Mexico divide. Retrieved July 24, 2017, fromhttp://ebookcentral.proquest.com.ezproxy2.apus.edu/lib/apus/reader.action?docID=3137948

Beauchamp, Z. (2015, September 27). Retrieved July 24, 2017, from https:// P Troup

1) Discuss the similarities and/or differences between the external borders of New Europe and the U.S. – Mexico border?

When comparing the borders and immigration between New Europe and the United States (U.S.), there are vast differences, as well as some stark similarities. Physically speaking, the U.S. is composed of approximately 3.8 million square miles, where the only land borders are Mexico and Canada. Conversely, Europe is approximately 3.9 million square miles, divided roughly into 51 mostly adjacent nations. There are few oceans that vastly separate European counties. This could leave one to think that controlling the border of America would be relatively easy. However, in addition to the land borders of Mexico and Canada, there are hundreds of ports and international airports that make up the functional border equivalent in the U.S. The same could be said for many of the European nations.

When we look at maps between the U.S. and Mexico, we see that natural landscapes, such as the Rio Grande River, make up much of our border. This same feature also can be seen in Europe, like the Oder and Neisse Rivers. We also see each side in investing in border security. The European nations, just like the U.S. and Mexico border, are becoming increasing more secured with fenced structures, tightened security, and limited access (Boedeltje, 2012). With that said, many migrants travel in similar means and motivations. The borders are still penetrated and illegal drugs are still smuggled. Additionally, immigrants in both, the New Europe and the U.S., are often looking for that “better life.”

Only to challenge the effectiveness of the border more, a few countries don’t make valid attempts to secure their citizens in. The prime example being U.S. and Mexico, whereas similar rapports exist between the Europe Union and Russia. Furthermore, globalization only complicates the matter. Instant communication via phone systems or the internet makes certain information easy to gain.

On the contrast, immigration polices differ between the two continents. In America, immigration policy is view as immigration control, to include illegal immigrants, political refugees, family reunification, and legal labor immigration. In the European nations, immigration policies come as a form of immigration interrogation. This to include citizenship, anti-discrimination, and language requirements (Givins, 2010). It can also be said that the U.S. has been focusing on external threats compared to Europe’s internal threats.  And as Andreas (2009) points out, tactics and strategies between the U.S. and German border enforcement starkly resemble each other. However, German border enforcement is less visible, more intrusive, and more extensive.


Andreas, P. (2009). Border Games: Policing the U.S.-Mexico divide. Retrieved from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com.ezproxy2.apus.edu

Boedeltje, F. (2012, May). Opportunities for Regional Collaboration on the Border: Sharing the European Border Experience with the San Diego/Tijuana Region [Scholarly project]. Retrieved July 21, 2017, from http://catcher.sandiego.edu/items/peacestudies/Whitepaper%20SANDAG-1.pdf

Givins, T. (2010). Immigration and National Security: Comparing the US and Europe. The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations. Retrieved July 21, 2017, from http://blogs.shu.edu/diplomacy/files/2012/05/09-Givens_Layout-1.pdf

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