European Union tests new walls and noise barriers to prevent migrants from entering
From towering steel walls to deafening sound explosions, the European Union is redoubling its efforts to prevent migrants from entering.
“Our main objective is to prevent migrants from entering the country illegally. To do this, we use new and modern equipment, ”said Major Dimosthenis Kamargios of the Greek border police.
With the world on lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, Greek border police have been busy building and testing new barrier technologies to deter migrants, many from Turkey.
According to the Associated Press, this includes long-range sound cannons, observation towers and steel walls similar to what was built along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The outlet reports that the EU spent nearly $ 4 billion to research and expand border security technologies in the wake of the refugee crisis it experienced in 2015-2016. The EU has even invested in the development of artificial technologies, such as lie detectors for border crossings.
But while Greek residents along the border have welcomed the barrier tests, some EU politicians are concerned that the technology lacks oversight and could potentially be used against EU residents.
“What we see at the borders, and in the treatment of foreign nationals in general, is that it is often a testing ground for technologies that will then be used later on Europeans as well. And that’s why everyone should care, for their own sake, [about] what is happening at the borders, ”said Patrick Breyer, Member of the European Parliament from the German Pirate Party.
Despite falling nearly 78% during the pandemic, border officials say they predict migrant arrivals will rise again as the world and borders begin to reopen.