Why do countries build border fences?

08/30/2012 | New York Times (tiered subscription model), The

Some of the world's most prominent democracies have constructed border fences in recent years, writes Reece Jones, an associate professor of geography at the University of Hawaii, in this opinion piece. The U.S., Israel and India each say they are trying to keep terrorists out, but the efficacy of the fences is in question, Jones argues. The fences only cover portions of the borders, and erecting them is costly. "The walls have become emblematic of America's, India's and Israel's exclusionary policies rather than their ideals of freedom and democracy," he writes.

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