Mexican officials have criticized the fence. Outgoing Mexican President Vicente Fox, who has spent much of his six years in office lobbying for a new guest worker program and a chance at citizenship for the millions of Mexicans working illegally in the U.S., calls the fence "shameful" and compares it to the Berlin Wall. [WaPo]
I vividly remember November 9, 1989, when the Wall came down and a divided city was reunited. Several months later (in April), I remember touching what remained of the Wall. It was cold and rough and pockmarked from the thousands of people who had taken their sledgehammers to it.
Maybe the reason for it's construction -to stem the tide of illegal immigrants (people fleeing communist East Berlin into the "free" West)- is similar. And, the more I think about, the more I see parallels.
However, I suppose the biggest difference is the symbolism - the Berlin Wall dividing competing ideologies with a divided city suffering for it. The pain was palpable when I touched the Wall. And, even though, it never directly affected me, the joy when it fell was contagious.
What will the Fence come to symbolize? Ineffective government? Pandering for votes in a close midterm election? Futility against the tide?
And, if it's ever built, what will we feel when it comes down?