US-Mexico Border Barriers

Trump tours border wall mockups (NPR, March 13, 2018)

Semantics of border barrier (LA Times, February 27, 2018)
$200m for four 30 foot prototypes (BBC, September 1, 2017)
Construction firms preparing bids (Economist, March 25, 2017)

President Trump's January 2017 executive order


Historical background

1848    Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo specifying border line

1889    International Border and Water Commission

1924    US Border Patrol

1970    US-Mexico Boundary Treaty

1986    Immigration Reform and Control Act (US)

1994    Operation Gatekeeper (Calif. + similar border tightening by US   

           borders in Arizona and Texas from 1983-97)

1996    Illegal Immigration Reform and Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA) (US)

2006    Secure Fence Act (US)


Border statistics

Total US Border Patrol budget (billions): 1991 $.3, 2000 $1, 2016 $2.6.

US-Mexico border (fiscal 2016): 86% of agents, 98% of apprehensions (of which about 1/2 were nationals of Mexico, about 1/4 from the "Northern Triangle" (Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador) and 1/4 other).


Statistics on existing fencing (as of 2016): By 2012 about 300 miles of pedestrian fencing and 250 miles of vehicle barriers had been installed on the 1989 mile long US-Mexico border.


Sources: Wikipedia, WALO, USBCP.

Pictures: from National Geographic (2016)


Dispatches from the US-Mexico border (NPR, 2018)

The Berlin Wall and refugee flows in historical perspective


Fenced stretches per Washington Post (26-Jan-17)

Fenced stretches per New York Times (26-Jan-17)

                 This page last updated 20-February, 2018