From the earliest days of his administration, former President Donald Trump touted the value of building a wall on our southern border with Mexico to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the U.S. that had already overwhelmed our border management system. We suspect few have forgotten the frenzied reaction of the Democratic Party and their supporters.

The notion of a wall to keep people out of the United States of America, historically a nation of immigrants, was attacked as xenophobic, unrealistic and discriminatory. President Trump was vilified for betraying our traditions and heritage, and the criticism just kept growing.


It was therefore a surprise when the news recently reported that Finland had broken ground on constructing a 124-mile wall on its 832-mile border with Russia went largely unremarked upon in the international press. Indeed, within Finland, the construction enjoyed broad support across the political spectrum. The Finns were apparently bent on preventing the illegal immigration of Russians seeking to avoid the mobilization for military service in the war in Ukraine. Another consideration was the fear that Russian President Vladimir Putin would try to use the immigrants as cover for infiltrating a fifth column into the country. According to the Associated Press, during 2015-2016 Moscow attempted to intimidate Finland by directing large numbers of asylum seekers – mostly from Iran, Afghanistan and an assortment of Middle Eastern nations – to Finnish crossing points.

In fact, Finland’s wall was not the only effort like it along Russia’s borders. Last November, Poland began building a wall across the country’s 130-mile border with Russia in a bid to prevent Moscow from encouraging asylum seekers to cross into the European Union, according to the Wall Street Journal. Estonia and Latvia have also announced plans to construct walls along their Russian borders without ensuing commotion. Georgia, which has about fifth of its territory under Russian occupation, has also been under domestic pressure to tighten restrictions at its borders, especially after hundreds of thousands of draft-age men fled Russian mobilization orders.

The different walls all seem to have a common purpose, yet only Trump’s wall was savaged in the press.


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