2012 Mexico - US

United States–Mexico

The Tortilla Wall

In 2006 the United States started building a wall more than 1100 kilometres long, as well as fencing along the 3169 kilometre long border of Mexico. The Secure fence Act was a reaction to problems relating to illegal immigrants, drug trafficking and their alleged connection to terrorist organisations. Until now the project has cost 2.7 billion dollars, but the Congressional Research Service estimated, for improvements and maintenance of the border until 2025, to be 49 million dollars. The number of security personnel has risen from 3000 people in 1993 to 11,000 in 2011.  As a result of the limited number of employees along the border, the US has been unsuccessful in reducing the number of illegal Mexican immigrants. In 1990 there were 2.5 million undocumented Mexicans, in 2000 it was 8.4 million and in 2010 11.2 million. In 2007 the Secretary of the ‘Homeland Security’ Michale Chertoff said, “I think that the building of the border wall has created a sort of symbolic feeling of security, however we must not forget that the immigration, smuggling and terrorism problems derive from a complex background and needs a more diverse approach than building a wall which people can climb over or dig a tunnel underneath with a spade.” Locally people jokingly refer to it as the “Tortilla Wall”.