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Which Countries Have Border Walls?


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Daryn Hord



In recent years, the controversial topic of border walls has gained significant attention worldwide. These physical barriers, built along international borders, are designed to regulate the movement of people, goods, and contraband. While some countries argue that border walls are necessary for national security and protection against illegal immigration, others view them as unnecessary and even inhumane. This article will explore which countries have border walls and shed light on their reasons for constructing them.


The decision to build a border wall is often shaped by a country’s unique set of political, economic, and social factors. These factors include concerns about national security, territorial disputes, smuggling and trafficking, and managing migration flows. While some countries have implemented border walls as a response to specific threats or conflicts, others have built them as a preventive measure or as a symbol of sovereignty.


It is important to note that the presence of a border wall does not necessarily indicate a complete closure of borders. Many countries with border walls also have official border crossings where legal entry and exit can take place. These border walls are meant to control and monitor the flow of people and goods, rather than completely block all movement.


In the following sections, we will delve into the details of several countries that have constructed border walls, exploring the motivations behind their construction and the impact they have had on the respective regions.


Why Border Walls?

The reasons behind the construction of border walls vary from country to country, but they generally revolve around national security, controlling illegal immigration, and addressing specific geopolitical concerns. Border walls are seen by some nations as a way to protect their borders and sovereignty, while others argue that they exacerbate tensions and hinder cross-border cooperation.


One of the primary justifications for building border walls is the need for enhanced national security. Governments argue that these physical barriers act as a deterrent against illegal activities such as drug trafficking, smuggling, and terrorism. By restricting unauthorized entry, border walls are believed to help maintain law and order and prevent potential threats to a country’s citizens.


In addition, border walls are often considered a means to manage and control immigration. Countries facing significant influxes of unauthorized migrants may resort to constructing walls as a way to control the flow of people, prioritize legal immigration channels, and reduce the strain on their resources. Proponents argue that walls can help discourage irregular migration and ensure that immigration processes are conducted in an orderly and regulated manner.


Moreover, border walls are sometimes built in response to specific geopolitical concerns or territorial disputes. These walls serve as physical demarcations, asserting a country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. They can act as a symbol of power, reinforcing a nation’s presence in a disputed area and deterring potential encroachments by neighboring countries.


However, it is crucial to recognize that border walls are not without controversy. Critics argue that they can have severe humanitarian consequences, particularly when they impede the movement of individuals seeking refuge or asylum. Additionally, opponents contend that border walls can strain international relations, hinder economic integration, and perpetuate a divisive narrative of “us versus them”.


While the motivations behind building border walls may vary, it is essential to approach the topic with an understanding of the complex issues surrounding migration, security, and international cooperation. In the following sections, we will explore the countries that have chosen to build border walls and delve into the specific reasons behind their implementation.


United States

The United States is perhaps one of the most well-known examples of a country with a significant border wall. The construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border has been a topic of intense debate and controversy. The idea of a border wall gained traction during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign and has since become a focal point of the immigration policy discussion.


The primary argument for building a border wall between the United States and Mexico is to curb illegal immigration. Proponents of the wall claim that it will help deter undocumented migrants from entering the United States and provide border patrol agents with better control over the flow of people. They argue that a physical barrier is necessary to protect national security interests and prevent the influx of drugs and criminal activity.


Opponents of the wall criticize it for a variety of reasons. They argue that it would be an expensive endeavor with limited effectiveness, as people can find alternative ways to cross the border. Critics also argue that a wall sends a negative message to the international community and can have profound humanitarian consequences by obstructing the path of asylum-seekers and refugees.


Thus far, various sections of the border wall have been constructed, but the controversy surrounding its construction persists. The issue of funding and the environmental impact of the wall further complicate matters. The debate continues, with the future of the U.S.-Mexico border wall hanging in the balance.


It is important to note that the historical context of migration and the relationship between the United States and Mexico also play a significant role in shaping public opinion on the border wall. The discussion around the wall highlights the broader issues of immigration reform, border security, and the complexities of addressing global migration challenges.



Mexico, as the neighboring country to the United States, plays a crucial role in the discussion of border walls. The prospect of a border wall between the two nations has significant implications for Mexico’s relationship with its northern neighbor and its own internal dynamics.


From Mexico’s perspective, the proposed border wall presents a range of concerns. The Mexican government has opposed the construction of the wall, both on practical and symbolic grounds. They argue that it will disrupt the strong economic ties between the two countries and harm the cultural and social bonds that have developed over the years.


Moreover, Mexico contends that the border wall would not effectively address the underlying issues of immigration and cross-border crime. They stress the importance of promoting cooperation, dialogue, and investment to address the root causes of irregular migration and to foster economic development in the region.


At the same time, Mexico recognizes the importance of border security and has taken steps to enhance its own border control measures. The country has deployed additional resources to its southern border to curb irregular migration flows and combat transnational crime.


It is crucial to recognize that Mexico is not solely defined by its relationship with the United States and the border wall debate. The country has a rich cultural heritage, diverse landscapes, and vibrant cities that attract tourists from around the world. From the ancient Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza to the bustling streets of Mexico City, visitors can explore a wide range of attractions and immerse themselves in Mexican cuisine, art, and history.


Mexico’s tourism industry continues to thrive despite the challenges posed by the border wall debate. The country’s warm hospitality, spectacular beaches, and world-renowned cuisine attract millions of visitors each year, showcasing the resilience and beauty of the nation.


While concerns regarding the border wall persist, it is important to recognize the many facets of Mexico and its significant contributions to the global community. The country offers a rich tapestry of culture, history, and natural wonders that continue to captivate travelers from around the world.



Israel is another country that has implemented border walls in its territory. The most notable among them is the barrier that separates Israel from the occupied Palestinian territories, particularly the West Bank. Known as the Israeli West Bank barrier or the “separation wall,” it has been a subject of controversy and international debate.


The Israeli government argues that the construction of the barrier is a necessary measure to ensure the security of its citizens. Israel has faced decades of conflict and multiple security threats, including acts of terrorism. Proponents of the separation wall claim that it has effectively reduced the number of attacks and unauthorized entries into Israeli territory.


However, the barrier is criticized by opponents for several reasons. Critics argue that it has disrupted the daily lives of Palestinians, separating families, isolating communities, and restricting their freedom of movement. They also contend that the wall encroaches upon Palestinian land and hinders the prospects for a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


In addition to the separation barrier, Israel has constructed other sections of border walls along its borders with Egypt and Lebanon. These barriers are intended to prevent the infiltration of armed groups, smuggling, and illegal migration.


Despite the controversy surrounding the barrier, Israel is a country with a rich history, diverse landscapes, and a vibrant culture. From the ancient city of Jerusalem, a holy site for multiple religions, to the vibrant city of Tel Aviv with its lively nightlife, visitors can explore the many facets of Israeli society.


Israel is also known for its technological innovations, research institutions, and startup culture. The country has made significant contributions in fields such as cybersecurity, agriculture, and medical research.


While the subject of the border wall remains contentious, it is essential to acknowledge the many aspects of Israel beyond this divisive issue. The country offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in its history, culture, and innovation.



India, a country with diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and a high population density, has also implemented border walls in certain regions.


One such example is the fence along the Line of Control (LoC) that separates the Indian-administered Kashmir region from Pakistan-administered Kashmir. The border fence is intended to curb infiltration by militants and prevent cross-border exchanges of weapons and illegal goods.


In addition, India has constructed a barrier along sections of its border with Bangladesh. The border fence, known as the Indo-Bangladesh barrier, aims to address concerns related to unauthorized migration, smuggling, and security threats.


The decision to construct these border walls stems from India’s security concerns and the need to manage its borders effectively. India faces various challenges, including tensions with neighboring countries, territorial disputes, and cross-border terrorism.


However, the border walls in India have also faced criticism and controversy. Opponents argue that they can hinder the movement of people in border areas, disrupt local communities, and have adverse environmental impacts. There are concerns about the separation of communities and the impact on cultural ties between neighboring regions.


Aside from the border walls, India offers an incredible range of attractions for travelers. From the iconic Taj Mahal to the bustling streets of Mumbai, the country boasts a rich tapestry of history, art, spirituality, and natural beauty.


India is renowned for its diverse cuisine, intricate temples, and colorful festivals. Visitors can explore ancient archaeological sites, embark on wildlife safaris in national parks, or simply experience the warmth and hospitality of the Indian people.


While the border walls may raise valid concerns and controversies, it is important to recognize the many facets of India beyond this issue. The country offers a wealth of experiences that showcase its cultural vibrancy and natural wonders.


Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia, a country located in the Arabian Peninsula, has also implemented border walls to address various security concerns and manage its borders effectively.


One of the notable border walls in Saudi Arabia is the one along the border with Yemen. This barrier aims to prevent the illegal flow of weapons, drugs, and smuggling activities between the two countries. It is also intended to secure Saudi Arabia against potential security threats, including incursions by armed groups.


The construction of the border wall is part of Saudi Arabia’s wider efforts to enhance its border security measures. The country shares a long and porous border with Yemen, which has been involved in a long-standing conflict and faces ongoing security challenges.


Like other border walls, the Saudi-Yemen border wall has not been without controversy. Some critics argue that it exacerbates humanitarian challenges by impeding the movement of people who may be seeking refuge or better economic opportunities. Others raise concerns about the potential impact on local communities and the environment.


Beyond its border security considerations, Saudi Arabia is a country with a rich cultural heritage and a land of spectacular landscapes. From the architectural marvels of historic sites such as Madain Saleh to the vibrant cities of Riyadh and Jeddah, visitors can explore the unique culture and traditions of this Middle Eastern nation.


Saudi Arabia is also home to numerous historical sites, including the birthplace of Islam in Mecca and Medina, which hold immense religious significance for Muslims worldwide. The country’s stunning Red Sea coastline, with its pristine beaches and vibrant marine life, offers opportunities for relaxation and water sports.


While the border wall is a contentious issue, it is important to acknowledge the diverse attractions and experiences that Saudi Arabia has to offer. Travelers can immerse themselves in the rich cultural tapestry, marvel at the architectural wonders, and appreciate the natural beauty found within the borders of this kingdom.



Bulgaria, a country situated in Southeast Europe, has also implemented a border wall to address specific security concerns and manage its borders effectively.


The border wall in Bulgaria is primarily located along the border with Turkey. Constructed as a response to increased migration flows and concerns about smuggling and security threats, the barrier aims to regulate and control the movement of people and goods across the border.


The decision to construct the border wall in Bulgaria came in the wake of the European migrant crisis in 2015 when the country faced a significant influx of migrants and refugees. The barrier is intended to reduce the risk of irregular migration and human trafficking, as well as enhance border security measures.


The border wall in Bulgaria, like other border barriers, has been subject to both praise and criticism. Proponents argue that it helps protect national security and prevent illegal activities, while opponents raise concerns about its impact on human rights and the potential for creating barriers to legitimate asylum seekers.


Aside from its border security measures, Bulgaria offers a wealth of attractions for visitors. The country is known for its rich history, picturesque landscapes, and vibrant cultural heritage.


The capital city, Sofia, boasts a blend of ancient and modern treasures, from the iconic Alexander Nevsky Cathedral to the remains of Roman Serdica. The charming towns of Plovdiv and Veliko Tarnovo feature well-preserved historical sites and a glimpse into Bulgaria’s past as a crossroads of civilizations.


Bulgaria is also a nature lover’s paradise, with stunning mountain ranges, such as the Rhodope and Pirin Mountains, offering opportunities for hiking, skiing, and breathtaking views. The Black Sea coast, with its picturesque beaches and seaside resorts, provides a perfect setting for relaxation and summer vacations.


While the border wall in Bulgaria may spark debates, it is important to acknowledge the diverse cultural, historical, and natural attractions that the country has to offer. Visitors can immerse themselves in the rich traditions, explore ancient ruins, and enjoy the warm hospitality of the Bulgarian people.



Hungary is another country that has implemented a border barrier to manage its borders and address specific security concerns. The border barrier, commonly referred to as the “border fence,” was constructed along its borders with Serbia and Croatia.


The construction of the border fence in Hungary came as a response to the European migrant crisis in 2015, when the country faced a large influx of migrants and refugees. The government argued that the fence was necessary to secure its borders, control the flow of migrants, and maintain the rule of law.


The border fence in Hungary has been a subject of controversy, with critics raising concerns about its effectiveness and impact on human rights. Some argue that it restricts the movement of people who are fleeing conflict and seeking asylum, potentially violating international human rights standards.


On the other hand, supporters of the border fence highlight the importance of border security and the need to manage migration flows in a controlled and orderly manner. They argue that the fence has helped reduce irregular migration into Hungary and has provided a measure of control over the entry of individuals into the country.


Despite the discussions surrounding the border fence, Hungary offers visitors a rich cultural heritage, fascinating history, and stunning architecture. The capital city, Budapest, is renowned for its iconic landmarks, such as the Parliament Building, Buda Castle, and the Chain Bridge.


The country’s thermal baths, such as the famous Széchenyi Thermal Bath, offer relaxation and rejuvenation to locals and tourists alike. Hungary’s countryside is dotted with charming villages, vineyards, and picturesque landscapes, providing the perfect setting for exploring and unwinding.


Hungary’s culinary scene is also not to be missed, with delicious dishes like goulash, chimney cake, and Hungarian wines delighting food enthusiasts. The country’s traditions, festivals, and folk arts showcase its vibrant cultural heritage.


While discussions around the border fence may continue, it is important to recognize the diverse facets of Hungary and appreciate the country’s historical and cultural treasures that extend beyond this issue.


Spain (Ceuta and Melilla)

The two Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, located on the northern coast of Africa, are unique cases when it comes to border walls. These cities are the only European Union external borders located on the African continent and are surrounded by fences and physical barriers.


The border fences in Ceuta and Melilla are meant to regulate the movement of people and goods between Spain and Morocco. Due to their geographical proximity to Africa, these enclaves have faced challenges related to irregular migration and smuggling activities.


The border fences consist of high-security barriers, including double fences, surveillance systems, and border control infrastructure. They aim to control the flow of migrants and prevent unauthorized entry into Spanish territory.


The situation in Ceuta and Melilla has been a topic of significant debate and controversy. Critics argue that the barriers, particularly the razor wire fences, can pose risks to human rights and have resulted in tragic incidents during attempted border crossings.


Spain, on the other hand, maintains that the border fences are necessary for maintaining security and controlling migration flows. The government has implemented policies focused on managing migration and providing asylum seekers with proper processing and assistance.


Beyond the border walls, Spain is a country renowned for its rich culture, history, and diverse landscapes. From the vibrant streets of Barcelona to the historic charm of Madrid, visitors can immerse themselves in Spain’s cultural heritage.


The country offers stunning beaches, such as those along the Costa del Sol and the Canary Islands, as well as picturesque countryside and mountain ranges like the Sierra Nevada and the Pyrenees. Spain’s culinary scene is a treat, with delicious tapas, paella, and regional specialties to savor.


Spain is also known for its festive spirit, with elaborate celebrations like the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona and the colorful La Tomatina festival in Buñol. Visitors can explore ancient landmarks like the Alhambra in Granada, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, and the Prado Museum in Madrid.


While the border walls in Ceuta and Melilla may elicit discussions on migration and security, it is important to recognize the broader offerings of Spain and appreciate the country’s rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking landscapes.


United Kingdom (Channel Tunnel)

The United Kingdom, uniquely connected to mainland Europe through the Channel Tunnel, has a distinctive border arrangement that does not involve physical border walls or fences. The Channel Tunnel, also known as the “Chunnel,” is a remarkable engineering feat that facilitates the transportation of people and goods between the UK and France.


Opened in 1994, the Channel Tunnel is a 31-mile underground rail link that connects Folkestone in the UK with Coquelles near Calais in France. It enables high-speed passenger trains and freight services to cross the English Channel, providing a vital link for trade, tourism, and travel between the two countries.


Unlike traditional border walls, the management of the UK-France border primarily relies on extensive security measures and border control systems. This includes passport checks, customs inspections, and coordinated security efforts to ensure the smooth flow of people and goods while maintaining security.


While the Channel Tunnel itself does not have physical barriers, it represents a boundary where security protocols and immigration checks are conducted to regulate the movement of individuals and goods. The border control arrangements aim to strike a balance between facilitating the free movement of people and maintaining security measures.


The United Kingdom offers visitors a wealth of attractions, from the iconic landmarks of London, such as the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace, to the picturesque countryside, historic castles, and charming villages scattered throughout the country.


Scotland, with its stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage, offers visitors the chance to explore historic sites like Edinburgh Castle and the beautiful Highlands. Wales, known for its rugged coastline and ancient castles, provides opportunities for hiking, outdoor adventures, and immersing oneself in Celtic traditions.


England’s vibrant cities, such as Manchester, Liverpool, and Bristol, offer a blend of history, modern arts, and lively music scenes. The United Kingdom is also known for its world-class museums, theaters, and diverse culinary delights.


While the absence of physical border walls at the Channel Tunnel sets the UK apart from other countries, it is important to acknowledge the rich offerings of this nation and appreciate the history, culture, and natural wonders that await visitors.



The existence of border walls in various countries around the world highlights the complex issues surrounding immigration, security, and national sovereignty. While the reasons behind their construction may vary, they are often implemented as a response to specific security concerns or to manage migration flows.


Border walls can have both positive and negative implications. Proponents argue that they enhance national security, deter illegal activities, and allow for better control over the movement of people and goods. However, critics raise concerns about the humanitarian impact, potential violation of human rights, and strained international relations caused by these barriers.


It is crucial to approach the topic of border walls with a nuanced understanding of the specific contexts, challenges, and motivations surrounding their construction. It is essential to seek solutions that balance security interests with respect for human rights, international cooperation, and the recognition of the benefits of cultural exchange and economic integration.


Regardless of the presence of border walls, each country has much more to offer beyond this contentious issue. The world is filled with unique destinations, diverse cultures, remarkable histories, and breathtaking landscapes waiting to be explored and appreciated.


As travelers and global citizens, we can engage in meaningful dialogues and foster understanding while appreciating the richness and diversity of the countries we visit. By embracing open-mindedness, cultural immersion, and respectful engagement, we can move towards a more interconnected and harmonious world.


Remember, while border walls may shape political landscapes, it is the shared experiences and connections we create that truly transcend barriers and remind us of our common humanity.