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US Senate candidate lauds deadly East German border control

The Local · 20 Oct 2010, 10:23

Published: 20 Oct 2010 10:23 GMT+02:00

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Republican candidate Joe Miller, a Senate candidate for the November 2 Congressional 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 Germany.

"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."

However, Miller failed to mention that East Germany used deadly force along the Wall to keep people from leaving the communist country rather than enter it.

Miller's spokesman did not immediately return requests for a comment on the remarks, which come barely two weeks before midterm 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.

Story continues below…

AFP/The Local/rm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:00 October 20, 2010 by William Thirteen
should i be surprised?
12:02 October 20, 2010 by bestman
Its idiot remarks such as this that make the very legitimate attempts to control US borders and immigration through new legislation, policy and enforcement that much more difficult. And the APF should get a grip - just because many americans are descended from immigrants doesn't mean that America needs more immigrants now.
12:16 October 20, 2010 by Kayak
"...most Americans have a hard time opposing immigration energetically when most are descended from immigrants."

What, you're suggesting that Native-Americans lived in a country called the USA before the colonial settlers arrived?

How did you get to be a news-journalist?

That sort of thinking makes me wonder which Native-American tribe George Washington belonged to when he was commander in chief.
12:20 October 20, 2010 by bestman
Don't worry about the indians, they're all raking in millions from the casinos that the government has allowed them to build on tribal lands.
12:37 October 20, 2010 by Landmine
"Miller failed to mention that East Germany used deadly force along the Wall to keep people from leaving the communist country rather than enter it"

I think everyone knows deadly force was used to keep people in, not necessarily out of East Germany. This is why Miller probably did not mention the use of deadly force and just said a fence needs to be built.

I believe the Local is taking his comments out of context. Miller wants to keep people out of the US I find it unfair the paper is associating this with using deadly force. He did not say this, you are just inferring it...
12:37 October 20, 2010 by freechoice
businesses loves cheap labors, hungry mexicans wants US dollars....americans don't find earning min wage attractive, a perfect match in heaven, who is complaining?
12:55 October 20, 2010 by majura
"businesses loves cheap labors, hungry mexicans wants US dollars....americans don't find earning min wage attractive, a perfect match in heaven, who is complaining?"

You don't see an issue in underpaying people? Does it not stir any of your moral fibres that a human being can be degraded to such low standards of remuneration/conditions as is so oft the case in regards to immigrant work?
13:11 October 20, 2010 by tallady
Wall Building...I can see it now.. a long wall all along the Southern border,land mines in the no mans land sector ,.sharpshooters in the towers ,brilliant idea from the land of Sarah Palin...
13:15 October 20, 2010 by bestman
Thats right majura. Its far better to pay your own citizens a decent wage than to hire illegals at subsistence wages. Consumers may pay a bit more at the cash register but its the right thing to do and it encourages illegals to stay put and improve their own countries.
13:52 October 20, 2010 by NYsteve
Politicians...and ideas like this, make me ashamed to be an American....and DON'T get me started on Sarah Palin....jeez...what a waste of DNA!!!

The sheet metal wall that is on parts of the US-Mexican border don't work now....and yes, the Mexican immigrants,..legal or not..are the only people willing to do the farm work...Americans sure won't!

The ONLY true "native" Americans are the Native Americans...EVERYBODY else is an immigrant!
15:04 October 20, 2010 by bestman
Americans might do the farm work if they were paid enough. The indians might be the only native americans but what does that have to do with limiting immigration now?
16:04 October 20, 2010 by maxbrando
NY Steve has obviously lived a comfortable, sheltered life in NY. Wages will rise when the applicant pool shrinks. Rising wages will attract US citizens. But NYsteve and others also obviously like the cheap food prices at BK, etc. so they prefer illegals to do their dirty work. Cheapskates, all of you.
17:43 October 20, 2010 by fritzwiz
The political divide in the U.S. is between the descendants of the original inhabitants of the 13 colonies and those of the immigrants starting with the Irish fleeing the potato famine, then Germans fleeing their upheaval in the middle of the 1800's. They were followed by the rest of Europe in the second half of the 1800's as the cities in the U.S. needed workers for the industrialization that was taking place. This industrial city life was experienced by these immigrants while the " Native Americans " - the term the original colonial descendants called themselves - stayed in small towns. This is the political and social divide that has separated the U.S. into waring factions which is only growing worse. I am thinking of leaving the U.S. and going to the Argentine !

18:09 October 20, 2010 by Joshontour
Typical response for someone with NY in their name. Of course nobody wants to work for a less than suitable living wage. Having lived for quite some time in Minnesota, I can tell you that Mexicans are not the only ones willing to do farm work. Then I moved to Florida and the overabundance of illegal labor in the building industry drove down the wages of legal workers, and contributed to the housing market bubble.

BTW. there are no "Native Americans" the so-called Native Americans came from Inuit tribes in Siberia over the Siberian land bridge. They may have gotten there first, but there are no tribes indigenous to America.
22:06 October 20, 2010 by wood artist

I suspect there are few...in any country...who feel that the steps taken by East Germany to seal its borders are something to emulate, regardless of which side of the wall they were on. To suggest that the West German side thought the wall, and the associated enforcement actions, such as shooting people, thought the idea was okay is ludicrous.

If you were to study history, which I seriously doubt you have, you'd discover that walls and fences have never worked. The Great Wall of China didn't, the Berliner Mauer didn't, and none of the others did. They are, at best, illusionary. Castles seldem withstood a serious siege, and people will always find a way.

Any reference to the Mauer cannot be divorced from what it represented and the actions that accompanied it.

22:52 October 20, 2010 by NYsteve
It's so easy to make assumptions about someone you don't even know...No, I'm not in NY, I'm FROM there.....lived in CA 20 years and know all to well about the Mexican migrant workers....it's not the pay that keeps the Americans away from farm labor....it's the labor...it's TOO HARD and Americans are too soft.
14:45 October 21, 2010 by sdbcat
Let me first say to those who have said they are thinking of leaving America due to the political arguing - GO RIGHT AHEAD! Obviously, you would rather walk away than stay, vote, and be active in our government, so please, take your criticism of everyone but yourself and go find a better life somewhere else (and good luck with that).

To Fritzwiz - your comments are confusing at best. Where is your data to back up the divide? I am 3rd generation born in the US and my husband's family came over on the Mayflower. We are not divided on the issue of controlling our borders. We are not divided on the issue of ceasing to provide benefits to people who are in our country illegally.

Here is the problem - boiled down as basicly as possible:

We are the ONLY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD who provides services for illegals. In any other country, as soon as you get in the hospital, the school system, whatever - you are deported! Leaders in Mexico, France, Germany, England and many other countries have recently been quoted stating that this is the practice in their country. So why is everyone getting so mad that the USA wants to enforce the same laws?

My ancestors taught me that America will give you nothing but the opportunity to make more of yourself. I was told that a person must follow the law, work hard, and strive for more than the generation before. I really cannot understand why people are so darn upset that our country is going to enforce our laws.
16:20 October 21, 2010 by storymann
Thats a good point ..sdcat.. our borders are out of control and in recent times given the terrorism treat much more needs to be done to secure them for the safety of our citizens. America is more divided than at any other time in my life.It use to be Republicans and Democrats one for business the other for workers.That has certainly changed into conservatives vs liberals with ,very strong views. You now find yourself in one camp or the other ,like it or not.. It has very little to do with previous immigration more with present. New comers and the growing indigent go to the cities and the established are mostly in the country or suburbs as its always been. The 2 greatest changes in my life time is the flood of immigrants from non Christian countries as apposed to traditional European,and 9/11.
16:38 October 21, 2010 by William Thirteen
21:48 October 21, 2010 by nolibs
@Kayak and @NYsteve - Better check your facts, even "native" Americans came from elsewhere. When do native born Americans start to earn the same consideration?

I could be wrong, but haven't a number of West-Germans asked for the wall to be put back up?

In terms of the history behind it, it was probably not the best comment to make; but, I don't think she was referring to the killing of those seeking freedom.
04:14 October 22, 2010 by Prufrock2010
nolibs --

Perhaps you'd better check your facts. While it is true that the native Americans came from elsewhere, they came from elsewhere hundreds of years before the Europeans arrived and virtually exterminated them. The land was theirs before it was forcibly and violently taken from them through a campaign of genocide.

sbdcat -- America is not the only country in the world that provides services for "illegals," whatever an "illegal" is in your mind. Undocumented workers in the US work hard, pay taxes and yet enjoy few, if any, social benefits, while at the same time are exploited by agribusiness, clothing manufacturing and the hospitality industry that can't survive without them and yet refuse to provide them with livable working conditions, let alone unions. They are victimized by the same right wing demagogues who can't live without them, and who prevent any meaningful attempt at immigration reform. You might want to get your facts straight.

Joe Miller is a tea party moron, a populist xenophobe promoted by Sarah Palin, who (like his mentor) fails the basic intelligence test. He doesn't know that the Berlin Wall was erected to keep people in, not to keep people out. Aside from that, he is opposed to women's reproductive rights, public education, social security, medicare and taxation of the most wealthy Americans. He is a populist fraud who is unqualified to hold any office, let alone becoming a US senator. Very few Mexicans have infiltrated the US border to wend their way to Alaska to take jobs away from Alaskans. By the way, he is surrounded by a cadre of body guards who act like Gestapo, "arresting" and handcuffing journalists who dare to ask questions of the man in public. He is the future of American politics unless people come to their senses very soon.
05:16 October 22, 2010 by InTheBubble
Most Americans are descended from LEGAL immigrants. And the people we are trying to keep out aren't "immigrants," they are illegal alien criminals who have violated our national laws of entry (every nation has these laws, especially Mexico, whose entry laws are particularly fearsome).

I agree totally with Joe Miller. In 1981 I saw plenty of the wall that divided the east and west of Germany and that divided Berlin. Even a mouse couldn't get through those barriers. What the US needs to do is build a double wall, with a deadly force zone between them. We won't need two Vopos in a tower every 1/8th of a mile like the DDR had . . . instead we can use satellites and drones to police the wall. A great majority of Americans want this to be done. We are SICK of being invaded by these aliens who are destroying our culture and our economy. We will get this done.
10:44 October 22, 2010 by raandy
@Prufroc...good to read your comments again,as always informative and interesting.
11:24 October 22, 2010 by bestman

who cares whether folks are legal or illegal immigrants or whether US laws are flouted? People everywhere have a right to go absolutely anywhere they want and do absolutely anything they please as long as they don't get caught and inconvenience themselves. Rather than efficiently control the borders America should continue to greet immigrants who disregard its immigration law with social benefits and jobs that depress the wages of american citizens struggling to find work. How reactionary for you to suggest otherwise!
12:14 October 22, 2010 by LecteurX

"Most Americans are descended from LEGAL immigrants".

Right, so you mean all the colonists in the 17th and 18th century who robbed the lands of the "Indians" and displaced them where doing it legally, eh? Well, sure, they probably weren't violating their own tailor-made laws doing this. It was legal as long as it was the "red skins" being stolen.

Sure, most Africans-Americans are descended from those slaved brought "legally" to the Thirteen Colonies and subsequent slave states.

Then all along the 19th century, all these Europeans came legally, as well basically the immigration law amounted to "give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses" without any further hassle. There was still plenty of land to be "legally" taken from the Natives so nobody cared much about the "huddled masses" of Europeans arriving by millions, after all. Then the policy became a lot more stricter, from "give me your poor but keep the Chinamen out" until there were proper immigration laws that any other country has now.

So don't be disingenuous, most non-Native Americans are the descendants and invaders (or people unwillingly brought along to make the invaders' lives easier).

You're "sick" of being "invaded"? Well look at a map of US and Mexico in 1840 and come back to me on who invaded whom.

I support any country's right to have borders and its immigration laws respected, but you're bringing completely bigoted arguments. And you're basically supporting the idea that anyone trying to enter from Mexico should be shot by drones or what? That's utter madness.

@ Bestman

Oh don't be so childish, there's a world of difference between allowing anybody into a country without any form of control, and erecting a wall with guards (or "drones") shooting at people who are already risking their lives trying to cross a dangerous border (deserts and stuff). Lots of humane policies can be adopted to ensure the immigration laws are respected. Talking about "jobs that depress the wages"... well precisely, if employers were not so capable of turning a blind eye on employing illegal immigrants, there wouldn't be so many jobs to be taken by them. But, hey, how can you take away the "freedom" of entrepreneurs to employ illegals at slavery wage?

Anyway, judging by your comments I've seen on other articles, I don't expect to convince you. You probably think all those Africans hopeless enough to cross the straits of Gibraltar on any floating device they can find deserve to be torpedoed into oblivion or fed to the sharks.

I like the irony of it when such people call themselves "Christians" and hold such monstrous views in the same breath. On which side would Jesus be, if you pause to think, like, half a second? Clue: not on the drone-toting morons' side.
12:28 October 22, 2010 by tallady

There use to be 2 or 3 places here in Berlin called "fair trade" and they as i am sure you know paid fair wages to the people who procured the product.I use to buy my coffee there,but they have vanished , moved or gone out of business.

Unfortunately the dollar rules, and farmers ,and other employers pay as little as they can.

The employers are the problem, but they say they can not get US workers.The truth is they can not get any good US workers that can keep up with the Mexicans, as almost all farm work is piece work.You get paid according to how much you harvest. Many of these workers make 200 to 300$ a day,when the crops are good.

I tried to rake blueberries for some extra money in Maine where I am from .There were many migrants there,and I was shocked by how fast they worked,they had a blueberry rake in each hand and a huge section to rake.All I could take was one day and I made 18$ where they made 200$.We cold not harvest the fields with out them.
14:04 October 22, 2010 by LecteurX
@ Joshontour.

"Then I moved to Florida and the overabundance of illegal labor in the building industry drove down the wages of legal workers, and contributed to the housing market bubble."

So the desperate illegal immigrants are responsible for the housing market bubble now, right? What drove down the wages was not the overabundance of illegal labour but the eagerness of not-too-ethical employers to pay ridiculous wages to hard-working people, and their much lower propensity to enquire about applicants' legal status before hiring them - they just don't care as long as they find people agreeing to do the job at subsistence wages. But, hey, don't meddle with the entrepreneurs' sacrosanct "freedom" to do whatever they want - and then blame the hopeless illegal immigrant for all the ills of the country, even for the housing bubble (I can't believe this).

"BTW. there are no "Native Americans" the so-called Native Americans came from Inuit tribes in Siberia over the Siberian land bridge. They may have gotten there first, but there are no tribes indigenous to America. "

What a vacuous argument. Well by adopting this ridiculous point of view we can say there is no "indigenous" human being living in any country outside of northeastern Africa or the Middle East, from where homo sapiens is supposed to originate and, starting from there, conquered the entire world.

If for you there is no difference between tribes which settled in North America more than 20,000 years ago and found absolutely no other humans there, and millions of Europeans who killed, robbed, ruthlessly displaced people, stole their lands and annihilated their cultures in the last 400 years, then you're beyond hope and beyond parody.
19:07 October 22, 2010 by bestman
Torpedoed LecteurX? Of course not, don't be ridiculous, African immigrants without permission should be escorted back to where they came from. Its only fair to those like myself who took the trouble and time to apply the way the law prescribes.
16:43 October 23, 2010 by Jazzineva
Oh yeah, just what the U.S. needs is a "shoot to kill" policy with anyone who tries to cross its borders. Having lived in Berlin while the Wall was still up, I just about hit the roof when I heard Joe Miller's comments. But what can you expect of a great pal of Sarah Palin? Chilling ignorance. It's really similar to the Congressional candidate who so much enjoyed dressing up as a Nazi to bond with his son. Tea party madness abounds. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Join Stephen Colbert's March for Fear. Or better yet, Rally for Sanity with Jon Stewart! We'll be watching in Berlin!
08:49 October 30, 2010 by Landmine
@ wood artist...

Lol, you know a lot about me huh? Especially about my study of history as you mention it. Would it surprise you to know that my profession is being a Historian? I am sure it does...

Reread what I wrote, you are taking it out of context. Also a quick course in English comprehension may do a world of good for you.
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