AFP Reporter Inspects Progress of
By Mark Anderson
DUNCAN HUNTER (R-Calif.), who succeeded his dad, retired
Rep. Duncan L. Hunter, has introduced legislation to extend the border
another 350 miles—in addition to the nearly 700 miles of the
that already has been built along the U.S.-Mexican border. The younger
who served in the Marine Corps just after 9-11 and became the first
combat veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan elected to Congress,
try to defend America’s borders instead of pretending that
lies only in protecting other nations.
ARTICLE CONTINUE BELOW
MARK ANDERSON ON THE BORDER
response to advice of the AFP READERSHIP COUNCIL to report
more on border issues, AFP is notching up efforts to follow the border
progress. Rep. Hunter introduced the Unlawful Border Entry Prevention
July 22. The bill would give Department of Homeland Security Secretary
Napolitano, who’s the former governor of Arizona,
discretionary authority to construct 350 miles of additional border
locations she determines necessary.
would amend the Illegal Immigration Reform and
Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. This AFP writer returned to see
border fence in south Texas
on July 26, where
it runs along Military Highway
This concrete-based structure
has vertical metal posts shooting out the top; it’s about 14
AFP spent a day with the South Texas Minuteman
Project, which scouts the border and reports to the U.S. Border Patrol
illegal entries from Mexico.
At that time, AFP filmed a literal wall section near the city of Mission
that was all
concrete. It looked something like the Berlin Wall. But the design in
areas is the concrete/metal post combination usually called a border
Many of the metal posts look rusty. There are large gates in the fence,
relatively few and far between, where it can be opened wide enough
which to drive large vehicles. The vertical metal sections in the gated
are taller than in the regular parts of the fence where there are no
the site of the former Fort
was used to monitor border mischief from
Francisco “Pancho” Villa and other 19th century
militants who menaced U.S.
border towns 100 years ago—is now on the Mexican side of the
border fence. The
land of the former fort is now a park.
irony is unmistakable: The land used for the original Fort Texas
in the 1840s, later re-named Fort
Major Jacob Brown’s death and utilized to
protect the U.S.
appears to be physically separated from the U.S.,
even while the America
of today continues to face border violence as it did a century ago.
fort played a role in the opening of the Mexican-American
War. Soon thereafter, in 1849, the city of Brownsville was
established near the fort’s
grounds and named after Major Brown. Violence from the 1910 Mexican
raged along the Rio Grande
sometimes spilled across the U.S.
border, just like drug cartel violence does today.
required heavy U.S. Army deployments all along the
river,” states an exhibit at the Historic Brownsville Museum.
The army used the fort to defend America’s
border with Mexico—before
interventionism in other nations’ affairs became entrenched.
Gen. John J.
Pershing made an excursion into Mexico
to hunt Pancho Villa after he had raided U.S.
border towns, destroying Columbus, N.M.
in March of 1916. Eighteen
Americans were killed.
Hunter believes that the fence works but that the
Department of Homeland Security, not the military, should be the main
involved. He said:
the existing border fence mandate, the [DHS]
was given until December 2008 to identify specific locations on the
border for . . . fence construction. There is currently no legal
DHS to build additional border infrastructure in the event that it is
The threat of violence, illegal drug smuggling and terrorist activity
U.S.- Mexico border continues to escalate.”
Mark Anderson is a
longtime newsman now working as a corresponding editor for American
Free Press. Together he and his wife Angie provide many photographs of
the events they cover for AFP. Mark welcomes your comments and inputs
as well as story leads. Email him at at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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(Issue # 32,
August 10, 2009)