With all the hullabaloo surrounding Joe Miller's citizens' arrest of a journalist attempting to interview him at a town hall this weekend, the substance of Miller's appearance at said town hall flew pretty much under the radar. Which is why it wasn't until today that we realized that Miller had held up an unusual model for border security: East Germany.
Asked about illegal immigration, Politico reports, Miller replied:
The first thing that has to be done is secure the border. . . East Germany was very, very able to reduce the flow. Now, obviously, other things were involved. We have the capacity to, as a great nation, secure the border. If East Germany could, we could.
This statement is confusing on multiple levels. First, pro-market Tea Partier Joe Miller really wants to promote the policies of an oppressive Communist state? This choice could be dismissed if the argument made rhetorical sense, but it doesn't--the Berlin wall served to keep people in, not out. As far as I'm aware, East Germany did not really have a problem with immigrants gravitating to its economic opportunities.
"It's not an analogous situation," said Ira Mehlman, national media director at Federation for American Immigration Reform, an immigration reduction organization. "We have always supported structures on the border to secure people ... but you have to provide deterrence, you have to give people reasons to not come across in the first place." A better example of an effective border barrier, Mehlman suggested, might be Israel's fence, erected to keep terrorists from entering the country.