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Chapter 15: Immigration Tensions Over the U.S.-Mexico Border
The U.S.-Mexico border is the most frequently crossed international border in the world, with approximately 350 million people crossing legally each year.1 Running 1,969 miles, or 3,369 kilometers, in length, the border extends from Imperial Beach, California/Tijuana, Baja California, to Brownsville, Texas/Matamoros, Tamaulipas. It traverses four U.S. states, six Mexican states, and diverse terrains that range from urban areas such as El Paso, Texas/Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, to vast deserts such as the Sonoran.
The southwestern United States was once formally a part of Mexico, and thus the two share cultural and family ties and, in many regions, a common language. Moreover, the Mexican-born U.S. immigrant population is one of the largest, topping out at 30 ...