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Immigration Law

Borderlands: Life in the Shadow of the Wall

Borderlands - How will a more complete border wall affect those who live in its shadow?

President Donald Trump has pledged to build 1,250 miles of new border wall, and most of that would be in Texas, where only about 10 percent of the border is fenced in. But Texas is unique among border states: The border here is marked by the wild undulations of the Rio Grande and is crowded with private land and parcels. Flooding concerns and property disputes forced the existing fence to be built up to a mile from the river’s edge. That’s left wildlife sanctuaries, nature trails, cemeteries, soccer fields and family homes caught in a no-man’s land between wall and river.

A team of five American-Statesman reporters and photographers traveled nearly the entire length of the Texas-Mexico border to examine how the existing border fence is affecting communities in the Rio Grande Valley, and to study the impact the coming border wall would have in places like Big Bend and Falcon Lake.

Postcards from the river’s edge - Austin American-Statesman reporters and photographers traveled from Big Bend to Brownsville to find out how the border wall — both existing and planned — is affecting local communities. What follows are snapshots of the people and places grappling with the new reality of the border wall.