The US-Mexican Border

The US-Mexican border is a trans-continental frontier, which separates the USA in the north, and Mexico in the south. It is the most crossed border in the world, with approximately 350 million people crossing the border legally on a yearly basis. The border, and its patrolling, is heavily discussed, because of illegal passings and drug smuggling.

Geography Edit

The border stretches from Imperial beach, California, on the Pacific coast, to Brownsville, Texas in the Gulf of Mexico. The boundary has a length of 3145 Km, running through mostly barren wastelands. The Border Region extends 60 kilometers north and south of the border, as well as 60 kilometers into both the Pacific ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Some parts of the border follows the Rio Grande and the Colorado River.

History and background Edit


Map showing the expansion of the US

In the era of european settlement in America, the area around the now present border was very attractive because of its array of natural resources, particularly silver. The Kingdom of Great Britain expanded further west in America with its acquisition of the Louisiana territory, which they bought from France. In 1821 Mexico gained its independence from Spain, and the US-Mexican border, though way further north, needed to be established.

Texas, which was at the time Mexican territory, became host to conflict between USA and Mexico, which ultimately led to the Mexican-American war in 1846. In 1848 both sides signed The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. In conclusion, Mexico had lost around 2.5 million square kilometers of land to USA, what is now Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Wyoming, Colorado, Oklahoma and Kansas. USA bought lands in the south of Arizona and New Mexico, known as the Gadsden Purchase, and drew up the border that divide these two countries today.

Challenges Edit

US-Mexico border fence

Border patrol vehicle along a barbed wire fence

Today, the border between Mexico and USA is often discussed in the media, because of illegal immigration and smuggling. The border and surrounding areas are heavily guarded and patrolled by over 20000 border patrol agents.

From its establishment, to how it is today, the border’s security and guarding has been increasingly in focus to strike down on illegal immigration and smuggling. Taller fences with barbed wire are being built, and more security are being stationed to patrol the Border Region. A very big challenge for the US is drug and weapon smuggling across the border. Every year humongous amounts of drugs are being sold on the streets in the US, and Mexican cartels greatly contributes to this issue. New methods of smuggling makes it difficult for the border stations to control the flow of illegal goods. The mexican government has, since 2006, led The Mexican War on Drugs, to actively disrupt the activity of mexican drug cartels, which are the main source of illegal smuggling across the border.

Mexico Edit

Mexico’s economic situation, and the many opportunities in the US, has made mexicans wanting to immigrate to pursue the American Dream. Even though most mexican laborers in the US are documented to work and live there, more people try to cross the border illegally because of harsh conditions and unemployment. Many people sadly finds themselves doing illegal work, such as smuggling, and thus risking their life for insecure payment instead of leading an honest life as perhaps a gardener or carpenter.

960px-Playas de Tijuana

The beaches in Tijuana are popular among tourists

USA Edit

From a US point of view, the immigration of mexican laborers has been good for the society, as mexican immigrants have filled vacant spots in the service and construction industry. Being the land of opportunity, US citizens don’t have a need to seek fortune in Mexico. Americans rarely travel to Mexico on other businesses than vacations, or to party and buy cheap liquor. However, the trafficking of drugs and weapons to the US is as problematic as it would been anywhere else on the globe, an issue to american citizens and the government.

Solutions Edit

The US Mexican border is indeed a hot topic, due to its position as a divider between two worlds, really. Because of the difference between Mexico and USA, there is no real solution to the problems around the border. Mexicans will continue to cross the border in hopes of a better life, and cartels will further improve their smuggling methods to earn good money on drugs or firearms. The only thing that can be done to stop the flow of illegal immigrants and goods, is to improve security around the border, and continue to strike down on Mexican cartels.

Sources Edit


The Us Mexican border Map showing US expansion

Border patrol vehicle along a berbed wire fence The beaches in Tijuana are popular among tourists