There’s a tendency for us to get somewhat myopic about immigration and the U.S.-Mexico border. We forget that these complex issues are playing out in other parts of the world in different yet equally-dramatic fashions. NPR ran a three-part series this week about race and politics in Europe (access it here) that looks at how immigrants are changing the demographics of countries like Italy, Germany and France. Over there, immigrants from Africa have to cross the sea to get to Europe. Closer to home, we have the border fence. I drove out to Playas de Tijuana this week to see how fortification there is changing the landscape. The photo at the top of this post shows older and newer fence sections. The photo below is of “Smuggler’s Gulch” where truckloads of dirt have created the equivalent of the Great Wall of China in what was once a hollow section of the border:
Construction has started along Friendship Park, a part of the border that overlooks the ocean where families on both sides of the border have traditionally gathered to have picnics and converse through gaps in the older section of the fence. Here is a photo of what I saw looking into the United States park from the Mexican side. I’m not seeing so many amigos there:
To read a recent story about the construction going on along the San Diego border, you can read this story by Los Angeles Times reporter Richard Marosi. To learn more about the fate of Friendship Park, here is an Associated Press article by Elliot Spagat and another piece by San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Leslie Berenstein. Also, fellow blogger Kinsee Morlan shares a video of the fence in her blog, Stairs to Nowhere.
***Update: Randal Archibold of The New York Times has a story about a border plan to address environmental harm along the border fence area. You can read it here. ***