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Photos Show the Ingenuity of Those Who Illegally Cross the U.S.-Mexican Border

People | January 7, 2018

Borders are more than just division between countries. Especially when one nation wants for more than its neighbor, the border will always be an invitation to those who see promise on the other side, as with the Mexico-U.S. dynamic. North-bound migrants have long plotted paths across our southern territories.

Day laborers or residents, try to cross the border by any means possible. Their movements and motivations, legal or illegal, are as  personal a s they are pragmatic.

These “handout” photos of modified vehicles, hidden tunnels, and clandestine overland crossings, provided for media by various border-entrenched government agencies, paint the state’s own immigration narrative.

A man is found hidden in the seat of a vehicle being used to smuggle people into the United States from Mexico at the San Ysidro port of entry in San Diego, 2001.

An SUV customized to resemble a border patrol vehicle was used to smuggle a dozen people into Texas in 2015. 

A 1964 U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service photograph shows how three men attempted to cross into the United States hiding under the false floor of a pick-up truck.

A 38-year-old Brazilian man is discovered inside the modified gas tank of a 2001 Toyota Sequoia in March, 2016.

A U.S. Customs Border Patrol Air and Marine Division UAV Predator drone captures a group of 19 people crossing the border, as seen on a command center video monitor at Fort Huachuca in Sierra Vista, Arizona, 2007.

Two people wear white plastic bags on their heads to better resemble industrial pollution in order to prevent detection by U.S. border patrol agents after crossing the border near Calexico, California, in 2005.

A Border Patrol officer demonstrates how he found an immigrant curled up on the engine beneath the hood of a car at a border crossing in San Diego in 1954.

An officer of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service discovers a group of undocumented immigrants under the floor of a van at a check point at San Clemente, Texas, in 1984.

Police bodycam footage shows the apprehending of thirty-nine Central American immigrants discovered inside a truck in Moore, Texas, in 2015.

A tunnel at a newly-built home in Calexico, California, runs the length of four football fields to a restaurant in Mexicali, Mexico, in 2016. It was the 12th completed secret passage that U.S. authorities have discovered along California’s border with Mexico since 2006. 

H/T Timeline

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