If you go up to a German intellectual and bring up fences and walls....immediately they want to chat on Trump and this silly wall on the border idea. They will bring in various foundation experts and immigration enthusiasts to cite "fact".
If you go to a German pub and find a dozen-odd working-class Germans just sitting there and sipping beer....asking them why there is no big refugee or asylum rush into Germany today....compared against 2014 or 2015....they will simply grin. It's a topic that won't appear much on German news or get discussed in forums.
It's a two-step approach.
First, Chancellor Merkel went and convinced all twenty-eight members of the EU to put 3-billion Euro into a pot, and give it to Turkey's Erdogan.....to cover costs of handling his share of Iraqi/Syrian refugees. The cost of these camps? There's no doubt that middle-men in Turkey are taking a cut on the support costs and selling food/etc at full price and more.
How Merkel convinced the bulk of the membership to go along with this? This has never been fully explained....other than the EU used a lot of pressure to get their folks lined up....even if the countries themselves were unhappy with the deal.
Each year....three billion Euro gets sent and Erdogan ensures that the smugglers are kept on a tight rope.
The second step? Every single country to the southeast of Germany built fences, and put armed guards on their borders. Every single country.
You head north out of Greece....you come to Albania, Macedonia, or Bulgaria. All three put up fencing and guards.
You head further north.....you find Serbia and Hungry put up fencing.
Kosovo? Yep, they put up fences.
It's a funny thing....fences and regular patrols work. You have virtually no one making it across six countries to Germany now. Greece? If some migrants or asylum-seekers make it there....they are mostly stuck there. My guess is that the Germans will make sure things are covered there in some fashion.
All this chatter by the Germans on Trump's wall idea failing? They would prefer not to bring up the fences to the south and how they actually did work. They'd also like to avoid discussing the three billion Euro a year going to Erdogan's Turkey.