The U.S. border wall along its southern frontier with Mexico is a sensitive subject these days that’s causing increasing embarrassment for the U.S. government.
Ten years ago on the U.S./Mexico border, jack rabbits enjoyed a wide open landscape with no fences. American bison were known to roam freely into Mexico for water. Mexico’s gray wolf hunted on both sides of the border. This freedom to live and roam where they choose changed on September 11th, 2001. After the September 11 attacks, construction on the Wall began to prevent so-called “terrorists,” as well as illegal immigrants and drug smugglers from entering the U.S. from Mexico.
Today critics are calling the wall a catastrophic failure that’s responsible for widespread damage to the environment and wildlife habitats. And for the deaths of thousands of immigrants who’ve died trying to hike around the wall in places like the blistering Arizona desert.
After 9/11, many Americans were in favor of the idea of expanding the wall or fence across the Mexico border. And a majority of Republicans in the U.S. Congress supported sealing the border completely. By 2006 the Secure Fence Act was passed calling for construction of 700 miles of fence along the southern perimeter of the United States. Opponents protested not only the effect on animals and migration patterns, but also the cost of building and maintaining the 700 mile long wall which is estimated to exceed 50 billion dollars.
Correspondent Mike Kirsch travels to Douglas, Arizona to examine the wall’s effectiveness in combatting the narcotics trade and illegal immigration, as well as its environmental consequences.