"The State of The World" Number 12
Complete Index Of All Issues
The Mexican Border Wall
One of the promises made by Donald Trump during his election campaign to become the U.S. President was to build an impenetrable wall along the entire length of the U.S.-Mexico border. It's become a place where a multitude of people from Mexico have crossed into the U.S. - some by legal means, many others by simply ignoring the border.
The 1,900 mile U.S.-Mexico border is a stark difference from the much-longer U.S.-Canada border (about 4,000 miles, plus another 1,500 miles with Alaska) where no wall has been seriously proposed (there is a joke in Canada that if Donald Trump ever wanted to build a wall on the Canadian border, most Canadians would gladly help him to build it).
But in those contrasting borders is an explanation of why Canadians don't ignore the U.S. border and respect its immigration laws. Canada has never lost a vast territory to the U.S. - while Mexico has. Many of the people who cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally don't regard it as being illegal - they regard it as moving to occupied Mexican territory that was lost in war.
When Mexico became independent from Spain in 1821, it held the vast area of North and Central America that had been explored and claimed by Spain. That included the areas shown on the map below - that are today known as California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas.
During the course of the 1800s however, successive wars were fought between the U.S. and Mexico, each time with Mexico losing territory. The result was the U.S.-Mexico border of today. Notice the vast difference in territory from the map above.
Again, unlike adjacent areas along the U.S.-Canada border, which in some places run right through the same town, or even the same building (the Haskell Free Library and Opera House has two entrances - one in Quebec, one in Vermont), the view along the U.S.-Mexico border shows two very different worlds.
Territory won in war has its own legality. That is not the point of this writing.
The point is that people who believe that something was taken from them by force are not likely to have much respect for the new border that makes it so. They will always find a way - under it, over it, through it, or around it.