The Southern Border of the United States is one of the nine designations in California typically used for economic analysis. The region includes Imperial County and San Diego County, each bordering Mexico. The Southern border has been in news lately because of Donald Trump’s proposition of building a wall around it. Hence, we decided to cover some facts on the Southern Border. Read on to know some interesting Southern Border facts.
Southern Border Facts:
Southern Border Consists Of Five Counties:
The Southern Border region consists of five counties, namely, Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Ventura, and Riverside. These countries were created when the California Regional Economies Project identified 9 regional economies in 1998.
The Border Is Long, Really Long:
The Southern Border of the United States with Mexico is 1933 miles long. It stretches from the Pacific Ocean all the way down to the tip of South Texas and is considered one of the busiest in the world. It stretches 2000 miles from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean, touching the states New Mexico, California, Texas, and Arizona.
Is Home To Millions Of People:
The Southern Border has around 15 million people residing in border counties in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California. Communities and cities such as El Paso, Las Cruces, and San Diego are considered safest in the United States.
President Bill Clinton Was The First President To Authorize Building A Physical Barrier:
President Bill Clinton was the first president to allow the building of a barrier between the United States and Mexico, way back in the 1990s. Walls and fences were built to prevent immigrants from entering the country illegally.
The Southern Border Has 48 Legal Points Of Entry:
Each year, the Southern Border brings in around 300 million people, 4.3 million truck crossings and 90 million cars legally. And ever since NAFTA has been implemented, the number of commercial vehicles crossing has increased by over 41%. In total, there are around 48 legal points of entry on the Southern border for vehicles and pedestrians.
Trade Has Tripled:
Over the years, two-way trade has tripled, with cross border trade averaging more than $650 million dollars a day.
Fencing On The Border:
Around 700 of those miles also have fencing. There’s high double fencing between San Diego and Tijuana (Mexico) to prevent people from crossing over illegally. A part of the fence also goes through the beach, continuing into a section of the Pacific Ocean. However, there’s no fencing at all in Texas, which is further east because the rugged terrain around the river serves as a natural barrier. In between, you’ll find fences of different shapes and sizes, made with different materials. These fences do not connect to form a continuous line. In fact, there are some areas that have no fencing at all.
The Southern Border of the United States is heavily surveilled. High tech equipment such as motion-sensor cameras, tower mounted cameras tethered aerostat balloons, drones and more are used to keep a check on the border. The aerostat balloons and frequent helicopter patrols provide a 360-degree view of the border 24/7. The border fence that separates San Diego from Tijuana is one of the most secure spots of the United States Southern Border as it’s most surveilled.
Landing Mat Fencing:
There are certain areas across the Southern Border in the United States, which have landing mat fencing, which is basically mats made from corrugated metal or surplus material from the Vietnam War. These mats were originally supposed to be used as helicopters landing mats in Vietnam but were later repurposed as the border fencing. This fencing is short in height and is completely opaque, which makes it a bit challenging for Border Patrol agents as they can’t see what’s going on the other side. The U.S Government has been working on replacing this landing mat fencing since 2007 because of the potential danger it can cause to the Border Patrol agents. One such danger is ‘rocking incidents’, where people on the other side throw large rocks at the agents.
Floating Fence And Vehicle Barrier:
There’s even a 15 foot “floating fence” atop the Sand Dunes, near Felicity, California. The fence moves with the shifting sands, which is pretty incredible. There are even vehicle barriers on borders along the Sonoran Desert, which are basically a series of bars that prevent the vehicles from coming across. This type of fencing is commonly found in remote areas as they do nothing in stopping people.
Building More Fencing Would Be Costly:
A report by the Department of Homeland Security states that building 1250 more miles of fencing would cost more than 21 billion.
The Rio Grande Barrier:
The Rio Grande serves a natural border in Ciudad Juarez and has been in use since 1848. This naturally occurring border winds through Big Bend, which is also a naturally occurring barrier. The border doesn’t have any strict security or manpower, but some people still try to cross it, though the number of people crossing it has decreased significantly over the years. The Rio Grande Valley serves as a natural border between Brownsville, Texas, and Matamoros. The valley has dense mesquite thickets, which provide hiding spots for people trying to cross the river, as mentioned in the book, “Undocumented”.
Southern Border Allows To Meet Only Once A Week:
The rules of U.S Southern Border are extremely strict and are controlled tightly, especially on the San Diego side. The visitors are allowed to week only at specific hours during the weekend, that too through a fence at an area named Friendship Park.
Trump’s Idea Of Wall:
As mentioned above, Trump wants to build a big, beautiful wall along the border, that would be made with artistically designed steel slats. In fact, construction of the steel bollard wall has already begun in California and Texas, which is supposed to have cost $291 million. 22 miles are already constructed, and an additional 18 miles will be finished by May 2019.
So these were some facts about the United States-Mexico border. If you have more to share, let us know by commenting below!