LatinaLista —Today, something to be admired and emulated happened in the European Union — nine more European countries, mainly ex-Communist countries, became part of what is known as the Schengen Zone.
The European Union’s Schengen Zone allows its residents to travel visa-free.
The 1985 Schengen Agreement is an agreement among most Western and Central European countries which allows for the abolition of systematic border controls between the participating countries.
For countries that have adopted this agreement, it means border checkpoints are a relic of the past and a reminder of when governments wanted total control of not just who came into their countries, but who went out.
Yet, in this day and age, where no borders exist in cyberspace and globalization is a reality in how people conduct business, as well as, their lives, doing away with borders is an idea whose time has come.
Even some European leaders, like Poland’s Prime Minister, who were known for their anti-European feelings, saw the dismantling of the border checkpoints as something to be celebrated.
Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer sawed through a barrier at the Berg border crossing.
“We have now succeeded in overcoming the most difficult border — that of fear and anxiety,” said Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk in his speech in Zittau.
And that is the kernal of truth of why countries have borders — and why any such agreement is years from happening on this side of the Atlantic.
Those with extreme views on migration want to keep the fear and anxiety alive in this country. By fueling both, extremists can ensure that the country will continually border on isolationism from their southern neighbors rather than inclusion.
The thought has been that by keeping our distance from those nearest us, we are stronger.
It was the wrong move.
By keeping our distance and only interacting with our southern neighbors when it was in our best interests, our influence has eroded, but most importantly, the respect and awe that those countries used to have for the United States has dwindled to the point that it has become a badge of honor, in too many countries, to challenge US.
The trend is worsening.
There is far too much distrust and discrimination among our own citizens to even entertain the idea of an open borders agreement with Central and South American neighbors.
But it wouldn’t be surprising to one day see such an agreement reached among all of our southern neighbors, excluding the United States.
If that should ever come to pass then the extremists who control the immigration conversation will have gotten their wish — to have the United States left alone.
But like that popular song of long ago — “one is a lonely number.”