Along the US-Mexico border fence

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

Nov 7 (Reuters) - Building a wall along the U.S.- Mexico border has been a contentious subject in this year's U.S. presidential election.

In parts of California and Arizona, a wall already exists.

It runs across rocky deserts, flowing sand dunes and miles of agricultural land. The wall splits towns and families, marking a boundary between two countries that used to be one. Busy land ports of entry and signs written in both Spanish and English attest to an interdependence that still exists in the bifurcated cities, faded mining towns and eccentric art outposts that punctuate the arid landscape.

SEE ALSO: Mexican officials are reportedly cooking the books to distort crime rates in the country

The border between Mexico and the United States spans some 2,000 miles between San Diego, California and Brownsville, Texas.

Monitored around the clock with ground sensors, cameras and hundreds of customs and border patrol officers, the wall is composed of a mash-up of materials: formidable cement slabs, steel mesh, rusty corrugated metal.

30 PHOTOS
Where the wall already exists along the US-Mexico border
See Gallery
Where the wall already exists along the US-Mexico border
A gap in the U.S.-Mexico border fence is seen outside Jacumba, California, United States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
U.S. customs and border patrol officers inspect a vehicle entering the U.S. from Mexico at the border crossing in San Ysidro, California, United States, October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
U.S. customs and border patrol officers inspect a vehicle entering the U.S. from Mexico at the border crossing in San Ysidro, California, United States, October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
Men talk on a street in the town of Calexico, California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A U.S. customs and border patrol officer stands at a border crossing in San Ysidro, California, United States, October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Recent arrivals from Mexico wait to board a greyhound bus in San Ysidro, California, United States, October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Highway 82 towards Douglas, Arizona is seen near Sonoita, Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
Clouds float above the border towns of Nogales, Mexico and Nogales, Arizona, United States, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A sign warning drivers that firearms and ammunition are prohibited in Mexico is seen at the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona, United States, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Buildings in Nogales, Mexico (R) are separated by a border fence from Nogales, Arizona, United Sates, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
An abandoned car sits off the side of a road near Jacumba, California, United States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A worker makes his way through the water after setting up an irrigation system on an agricultural field, near Calexico, California, U.S. October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
An abandoned car sits off the side of a road near Jacumba, California, United States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A church at the Museum of History in Granite is seen in Felicity, California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A man drives a tractor plowing a field at sunrise near Calexico, California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
Residential homes are seen next to the fence that borders Mexico, in Douglas, Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Pedestrians wait to cross the street in Calexico, California, Unites States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
The town of Bisbee is seen in Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Pedestrians make their way into the the United States from Mexico at the pedestrian border in Nogales, Arizona, United States, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A roadside collection of alien dolls and toy UFO saucers is seen next to a roadside residence neat Jacumba, California, United States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A road abruptly ends next to a sign for a cattle ranch near Douglas, Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A boy rides an all-terrain vehicle next Mexican border along the Buttercup San Dunes in California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
An old refurbished gas station is seen in Lowell, Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A man rides a tricycle past a grocery store in a town that borders Mexico, in San Luis Butter, California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A U.S. customs and border patrol truck drives past the fence that marks the border between U.S. and Mexico, in Calexico, California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A truck drives west towards California along highway 8 near Gila Bend, Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Electronic items are displayed in a shop window in Calexico, California, United States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A residential home is seen in Nogales, Arizona, United States, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A fence separates the border towns of Nogales, Mexico (R) and Nogales, Arizona, United Sates, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

There are oddities along the fence: a home surrounded by life-sized space alien mannequins and toy UFOs; the statue of a cow mounted high above the ground near a cattle ranch; and gaps in the fence occur sporadically without explanation.

A man rode a tricycle in a small California border town past a grocery store with a one percent sign hanging on the wall.

In Nogales, Arizona's largest international border community, the wall neatly divides the city. Little else distinguishes the hillside homes stacked on either side. Drivers entering Mexico are warned by a sign that firearms and ammunition are prohibited. At night, a bright neon yellow McDonald's sign stands out.

Some who live near the border in California and Arizona agree with U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his demand that Mexico pay the cost for construction of a wall on the border between the two countries. Others are deeply disturbed by it, like Mexico's government.

"It's been stigmatized pretty bad," said Jaime Alvarez, a retired Army auditor running for Arizona Senate. He works out of the Democratic party office in the city of Douglas.

Alvarez said residents are worried that too much talk about border control will distract people from having other important discussions about education, poverty and healthcare.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners