"One of the obvious advantages of living within a gated community is
the sense of security. But what if you live on the wrong side of the
gate? Consider the plight of Tim Loop, 47, who lives on his family farm in
Brownsville, at the southernmost point along the United States-Mexico
border. Not so long ago, the Loop farm was a pastoral vision, with its bountiful
mesquite and cotton fields and orange groves. Today, imposing sections
of 15- to-18-foot-high rust-colored steel bars, some less than 400 feet
from Mr. Loop’s front porch, are more likely to catch the eye. In 2009 the Department of Homeland Security
informed Mr. Loop and other landowners along the northern bank of the
Rio Grande that the new border fence, which in some areas stands more
than a mile from the river, would be cutting through their properties.
(A water treaty with Mexico that restricts building within the flood
plain prevented the department from simply hugging the north bank.) The
three-bedroom home where Mr. Loop lives with his wife and two children
ended up on the south side of the fence, inside what essentially became a
no-man’s land." - New York Times, Nov. 27, 2011.