Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site

Along U.S.-Mexican border, an erratic patchwork fence

At the border near Naco, Arizona, there are as many kinds of fences as there are ways over them.

Interactive map: Click to enlarge
About these ads

After driving 10 miles along the expanded US-Mexican border fence near her farm, Dawn Garner offers her dour assessment: "Anyone can plainly see this wouldn't stop a flea, let alone a migrant or terrorist."

A jagged patchwork of metal mesh, corrugated steel, vertical bollards, chest-high railroad rails, and waist-high barbed wire has been cobbled together along the southern border east of Naco by various National Guard units over the past summer. Hard-hatted workers from a general contractor, Sundt Inc., continue to dig ditches and grade terrain across plains of fluorescent-green prairie grass framed by saw-toothed mountains.

"This [fence] is just too easy to cut into, climb over, or go under or around," says Ms. Garner. Twenty to 40 illegal migrant workers cut across her five-acre farm daily, she says.

Unlike in San Luis, Ariz., and San Diego, where double-and- triple metal walls are backed by lighting and cameras, the fencing being built along this part of the US-Mexican border is piecemeal. Such a fence is pointless, say local ranchers.

The border patrol, however, contends that it is cost-effective, and more potent than it seems.

A mishmash of material

Here in Naco, the wall is being built on mostly federally-owned land. So there is little of the outrage over fair compensation and invasion of private property as there is in Texas, or complaints about cutting landowners off from land that falls on the Mexican side of the wall, as in the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation to the west.


Page 1 of 4

Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.