Posts Tagged ‘Border Wall’

Border crossers finding new fence painful

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

NOGALES, AZ – The higher the wall, the harder they will fall. That’s what border crossers trying to scale the new border fence at Nogales are painfully finding out.

The imposing new border fence running through Nogales is proving to be a treacherous obstacle for suspected illegal immigrants.

Nogales 2011_v2

(New Wall 20 feet 6 inches 2011 – Old Wall 15 feet 2010)

A Nogales Police Department report says on Aug. 12, a woman broke her leg after climbing the border fence.

Two days later, officers found a second injured fence climber. And a third, suspected illegal immigrant from China fell and broke his leg on Aug 22.

Nogales Fire Department Chief Hector Robles tells the Nogales International that in addition to the height of the fence, adrenaline and miscalculations in determining the distance and angle of a fall ar potential injury factors.

By: Associated Press

photography – Maurice Sherif

New Border Fences Cut Off Access To Border Monuments

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

SAN DIEGO — Before there was a fence, all that marked the border between Mexico and the United States were stone and steel monuments, 276 of them dotting the southwestern landscape. They were installed by Mexican and American surveyors starting in 1850, after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican-American War and the two countries agreed to define their shared border.

But as the U.S. Border Patrol has reinforced the boundary with a new fence, many of these bi-national monuments have been left entirely on the Mexican side of the barriers.Arizona_02_Pima County_LD

On the scenic stretch of coast where San Diego meets Tijuana, Mexico, the Border Patrol is making the border fence taller and thicker – impenetrable, it hopes, to drug smugglers and illegal crossers.

But peering through the new vertical bars and double mesh on a recent day, you could still make out a marble, pyramid-shaped monument on the other side.

It marks the precise point where Mexico and the U.S. meet, and visitors on opposite sides of the border were once able to approach the monument from both sides and talk through the fence.

But late last year, the Border Patrol moved its fence three feet to the north, fencing the monument out.

This has been happening at monument sites across the Southwest. It began when border fencing started going up in the early 1990s and has continued since 2006, when Congress approved the construction of 700 miles of new fence.

In 2008, the Border Patrol signed an accord with the agency responsible for maintaining the monuments – the International Boundary and Water Commission – agreeing not to disturb the monuments during fence construction.

So, in many places along the border, like San Diego, the Border Patrol built the fence a few feet north of the actual international boundary.

“The fence itself is constructed inside the United States,” said Jerry Conlin, a Border Patrol spokesman. The agreement between the two agencies, he said: “is that any type of construction around a monument would be set back three feet.”

Sally Spener is a spokeswoman for the boundary and water commission, which reviews the Border Patrol’s plans to ensure the fence is not inadvertently built on Mexican territory. She said commission officials had been willing to work with the Border Patrol to maintain access to the monument in San Diego.

She would not say whether the agency responded, but in any case, bi-national access was eliminated.

Now San Diego activists are hoping to convince the Border Patrol to change its fence design to restore access to the monument from both sides.

“A border monument needs to be on the border, not just on one side or the other. It’s a shared marker between two nations,” said Jim Brown, a local architect and activist. “To have the fence jog around and have it be almost ownership by Mexico doesn’t make any emotional sense, it makes no physical sense, it makes no common sense.”

Brown is a member of the Friends of Friendship Park, a group of activists that takes its name after the area where loved ones used to chat through the border fence until access was blocked.

Brown said he’s come up with a relatively simple design change that would make the monument accessible from both sides again.

Conlin said the Border Patrol was willing to listen, but stressed that border security was the agency’s mandate and priority.

David Taylor, an art professor at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, has been photographing all 276 monuments since he realized the new fencing was going to make many of them inaccessible from the U.S.

He believes the monuments, once a symbol of bi-national cooperation, have become casualties of the push for greater border enforcement.

“It’s one of those very unfortunate situations where this thing that’s part of our shared heritage with Mexico isn’t easily accessible.”

On the other side, visitors have expressed their thoughts too.

An engraving on the monument warns vandals that defacing it is a crime punishable by Mexico or the United States. But someone recently used purple ink to cross out the words, United States.

January 28, 2012
By Adrian Florido

Bill would stop Mexican Consulate officials entering Texas schools, colleges

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

AUSTIN, Jan. 20 – A bill filed at the state Capitol seeks to prevent foreign consular officials from entering public schools or state universities in order to distribute foreign identification cards or accept applications for such cards.

If HB 428, authored by state Rep. Allen Fletcher, is passed into law, Mexican Consulate staff would not be allowed to go onto to a school or college campus to help students with their matricula consular applications.

Maurice in Otay Mnt_JB

In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Fletcher, who served in the Houston Police Department for 21 years, explained the rationale behind his bill.

“The bottom line is we’re trying to keep foreign consuls from being on our campuses,” said Fletcher, R-Houston. “I don’t like them using our public facilities and our schools to basically access the foreign nationals that are in our country and give them an opportunity to take advantage of our benefits when they’re here illegally.”

The Matrícula Consular de Alta Seguridad (MCAS) (Consular Identification Card) is an identification card issued by the Government of Mexico through its consulate offices to Mexican nationals residing outside of Mexico regardless of their immigration status. -

It’s ridiculous but not terribly surprising in the current political environment. There are 40+ similar legislative proposals currently proposed in the Texas legislature according to Denise Gilman of Clinical Professor of Law – Immigration Clinic – University of Texas School of Law

© Copyright of the Rio Grande Guardian, Publisher: Steve Taylor. All rights reserved. – By Jesse Bertron

The U.S. government said it plans to build 70 miles of 16-foot-tall (5 meter) Wall in southern Texas

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

The plans were unveiled in the first detailed look at the Wall the government says it must build to slow illegal immigration along the 1,200-mile-long (1,920-km) Texas-Mexico border. In a request for public comment on the environmental impact of the Wall, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said construction could begin next spring

South of Texas

South of Texas

The fence, to be built in 21 segments at strategic points along the Rio Grande, must be able to withstand a crash by a 10,000-pound (4,545-kg) vehicle traveling at 40 miles per hour (64 kph), but also be “aesthetically pleasing,” the agency said.

The wall is part of a federal plan to build 700 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The border protection agency said the wall would mostly be built on river levees, but also would cross private land and encroach on state parks and the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge.

The refuge is considered one of the most biologically diverse wildlife sanctuaries in the nation and environmentalists say the fence could harm endangered species such as ocelots and jaguarundi found there.

Many local leaders in southern Texas, which is heavily Hispanic and has strong economic and cultural ties to Mexico, have criticized the border wall as unnecessary and an affront to Mexicans.

South Texas Border American Security Wall

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Landowners in south Texas are fighting plans by the federal government to build a Security Wall along the U.S.-Mexico border from Brownsville to Del Rio. The property owners in the Rio Grande Valley have refused to let U.S. surveyors onto their land. The government is suing to gain access, which it says it needs to complete nearly 370 miles of border fencing by the end of the year 2009.


South Texas Border Wall 2010

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s removal of more than 70 grapefruit trees from loop family land. On Wednesday morning, members of the Loop family watched helplessly as a government contractor’s large yellow Caterpillar excavator began the process of removing the trees. The trees were removed to make way for the border wall, which is being built by the Kiewit Corporation.