Border wall: The current divide between the U.S., Mexico

Posted at 5:49 PM, Mar 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-12 20:49:54-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - While America's current border with Mexico has stood since 1848, the wall — or "barrier" — between the two countries is not as old.

The divide has seen patchwork fencing over much of the area, largely leading to President Donald Trump calling for a new wall to be constructed.

Here's how the current U.S.-Mexico border stands:


The current barrier between the U.S. and Mexico was settled in the Boundary Treaty of 1970. The treaty resolved any pending differences the countries had regarding the dividing line.

This physical border stretches 654 miles from California into Texas, until hitting 1,300 miles of borderless separation. The full border, however, runs from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.

Congress passed the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which called for a permanent wall to be constructed along the U.S.-Mexico border, along with technologic improvements in surveillance and security. Work was terminated, however, in 2010 to divert funds toward other projects, according to the Washington Post.

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The act only saw 640 miles of border wall construction completed, leaving the rest of the U.S. border separated by ineffective or aging fencing, and natural barriers.

Homeland Security says the coverage, and lack thereof, is broken up as follows:

  • Fencing: 354 miles of pedestrian fence, 300 miles of vehicle fence.
  • Without barrier: 127 miles are unsuitable for construction.
    • 33 miles of bluffs in Texas's Big Bend Sector.
    • 59 miles of lakes in Texas.
    • 35 miles in the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.

Part of the border's challenges are those areas where fencing is either too expensive or impossible to install due to harsh geography, largely along the Texas-Mexico section of the border. Delays in construction and improvements have also stalled any new border construction.

Closer to home, improvements were recently made.

About 2.5 miles of the wall in Calexico was replaced with 30-foot high steel bollard walls. The area was previously constructed in the 1990s out of recycled metal scraps and old landing mat.