If only America could be as exceptional as Bulgaria. Maybe we could have a fence too.
But the intolerantly exceptional or exceptionally intolerant Bulgarians aren’t crazy about having the Syrian Civil War in their backyard so they’re putting up a fence. With razor wire.
Bulgaria is facing a backlash from human rights groups after building a 30km-long, razor-wire fence along its southern border in an effort to block immigrants coming in from Syria via Turkey.
The 3m-high fence, which has taken a week to build and was completed on Thursday, has already reportedly brought the number of illegal arrivals down to 300 per month compared with 2,000 people each month this time last year.
So Bulgaria can put up a 30 kilometer fence in a week, but we still can’t close off the border.
Bulgaria was caught unprepared by a surge of 11,600 Syrian, Turkish and Afghan refugees last year following the crisis in Syria – 10 times the annual number of asylum seekers to the country before the civil war.
The sudden influx caused a humanitarian crisis in Bulgaria, already the poorest member of the EU, as asylum seekers were forced to live in crowded army barracks and tents during the middle of winter with no heating, basic sanitation or food.
And the refugees kept whining and complaining and wanting to go to a richer country. And Bulgarians began protesting their presence.
Bill Frelick, refugee rights program director at Human Rights Watch said: “Slamming the door on refugees is not the way to deal with an increase in people seeking protection.”
Neither is exporting the Syrian Civil War to Bulgaria.