The mainstream media has continually mocked Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border, a national security measure the Norwegian government is now employing to control the unchecked flow of thousands of refugees coming through Russia.
The steel fence will be about 660 feet long and 11 feet high, stretching from the Storskog border crossing on the Norway-Russia border, where 5,500 migrants, primarily from Syria, came into Norway last year.
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Nordic countries, which have liberally distributed welfare benefits for migrants, have been viewed as a safe haven for refugees — encouraging thousands to trek there.
In the final four months of last year, a record-breaking number of asylum seekers, nearly 23,000, applied for refugee status in Norway, according to a report by the nation’s Directorate of Immigration (UDI). That number has dropped by 95 percent since the beginning of this year after officials began enforcing strict border checks and offering financial incentives for migrants to leave voluntarily, according to The Independent.
Even pro-migrant activists acknowledge the need for some control amid the refugee crisis.
Though Refugees Welcome group members in Norway think “the fence sends a very negative signal,” Deputy Justice Minister Ove Vanebo defended the measure.
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“The gate and the fence are responsible measures,” he told Reuters.
Preparatory work for the fence is underway. Officials anticipate it will be finished in the coming weeks — before winter sets in, to make it more difficult for refugees to come into Norway through the forested border.