ACALA, Texas — On each side of a towering West Texas stretch of the $2.4 billion border fence designed to block people from illegally entering the country, there are two metal footbridges, clear paths into the United States from Mexico.
The footpaths that could easily guide illegal immigrants and smugglers across the Rio Grande without getting wet seem to be there because of what amounts to federal linguistics. While just about anyone would call them bridges, the U.S.-Mexico group that owns them calls them something else.
“Technically speaking it’s not a bridge, it’s a grade control structure,” said Sally Spener, spokeswoman for the International Boundary and Water Commission, which maintains the integrity of the 1,200-mile river border between the U.S. and Mexico. The structures under the spans help prevent the river — and therefore the international border — from shifting.
They were built in the 1930s. If we aren’t going to actually do something to try and lock down the border, couldn’t we at least make them swim for it? What’s next, a slidewalk?
Though I’ll bet if the catwalk across the top of this was simply cut off and someone fell and drowned while trying to crawl across, there would be hell to pay.
I am constantly mystified by the lack of concern on the part of so many Americans about border security. If simple national security wasn’t enough of a reason, I guess I would have thought 9/11 would have convinced many that maybe it’s time to do more to establish a secure border. If 9/11 wasn’t enough, I would have thought the alarming level of violence just over the line into Mexico would do the trick. Is it going to take major drug cartel warfare in the steets of El Paso to convince enough people? Or won’t that even be enough?