President Trump has advocated on the campaign trail and now as president the construction of a “beautiful, impenetrable” border wall between the United States and Mexico. The day after meeting this week with Republican and Democratic congressional leaders on immigration, the president tweeted that “our country needs the security of the Wall on the Southern Border,” tying it to a fix to the DACA program. Whether the wall entails construction of a literal barrier, or some combination of fencing, electronic surveillance, and additional personnel, remains to be seen. In any case, border security will have to contend with vast stretches of rugged, mountainous, and remote terrain along the border.
In November 2017, two members of the Brookings Creative Lab filmed along the U.S.-Mexico border, showing the vast expanses and sometimes rugged landscape where President Trump has promised to build a border wall. As noted in the video, the Rio Grande forms a natural border along about two-thirds of the nearly 2,000 mile U.S.-Mexico border.
The video was first shown to an audience at a recent Brookings event on the real costs of the wall, featuring a discussion with Senior Fellow Vanda Felbab-Brown about her recent Brookings Essay, “The Wall: The real costs of a barrier between the United States and Mexico.” The discussion included remarks from Texas congressman Henry Cuellar (D) and Maria Peña, Washington correspondent for La Opinion/Impremedia.
[On the possibility of ongoing secret negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea] I am always wondering if my chain is being yanked. It could also mean Kim is trying to undermine Moon, who positions himself as a broker between the U.S. and North Korea. These two potential explanations are not mutually exclusive.