October 24, 2018 5:41 PM   Subscribe

Borderline. "Navigating the invisible boundary and physical barriers that define the U.S.-Mexico border."
A scrollable flyover of the entire border between the United States and Mexico.
posted by kirkaracha (4 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Amazing. I wish it wasn't 3D, but I guess it needs to follow some bends in the actual border. Reminds me of WaPo’s similar long-scroller of the 2017 eclipse path and Dan Huffman’s linear map of Lake Michigan from 2015.

I recently flew between Los Angeles and Panama City, and the clarity of the border even from 30,000' in the daytime was surprising.
posted by migurski at 5:55 PM on October 24, 2018

Notice how much of the border is unfenced, relying on the harsh natural environment to keep people out.

I will take this as another opportunity to recommend The Land of Open Graves, by Jason De Leon. He spent time with migrants on the Arizona border, bringing to light the enormous human cost of America's migration policy. In particular, it's the policy of using the natural environment as a deterrent that leads to countless deaths (literally impossible to count accurately).

I'll quote a passage from the introduction, emphasis is mine:
This book is about the violence and death that border crossers face on a daily basis as they attempt to enter the United States without authorization by walking across the vast Sonoran Desert of Arizona. If you live in the United States, you already know about many of the people you will meet in these pages. They pick your fruit, detail your cars, and process your meat. They toil in occupations that US citizens can't or won't do. Keep in mind, though, that not everyone who crosses the desert is a first-timer. In the Obama era of mass deportations, close to 2 million people were removed from the country through fiscal year 2013. Many of these deportees are now running scared across Arizona's Mars-like landscape to reunite with family members or simply return to the only place they have ever called home. My argument is quite simple. The terrible things that this mass of migrating people experience en route are neither random nor senseless, but rather part of a strategic federal plan that has rarely been publicly illuminated and exposed for what it is: a killing machine that simultaneously uses and hides behind the viciousness of the Sonoran Desert. The Border Patrol disguises the impact of its current enforcement policy by mobilizing a combination of sterilized discourse, redirected blame, and "natural" environmental processes that erase evidence of what happens in the most remote parts of southern Arizona. The goal is to render invisible the innumerable consequences this sociopolitical phenomenon has for the lives and bodies of undocumented people.
It's only gotten worse under Trump. A lot of people know nothing about it.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 6:17 PM on October 24, 2018 [4 favorites]

If you’ve ever been to Big Bend and seen the Rio Grande and the steep rocky banks, you realize what a silly idea is a wall. The locals across the border cross daily and sell trinkets along the hiking trails, some enscribed with “NO WALL” en espanol.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:26 PM on October 24, 2018

This is really well done and absolutely fascinating. Thank you.
posted by OrangeDisk at 10:51 AM on October 26, 2018

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