Immigration and border security are political issues that constantly divide Washington. As disagreement overtakes the command of the immigration issues in American politics, there are several factors about the problem that are often underestimated. Sanford Visiting Professor and American diplomat, Stephen Kelly, an expert on US-Mexico border issues explained the meaning of one of those cases on his op-ed in The New York Times published on November 7, 2013.
The opinion column titled “A Bend in the River” portrays the issues created by the ambiguity of the early laws that settled the official US-Mexico border. As the Rio Grande River changes its course, the border between the two countries is constantly moving as well. With laws such as the Secure Fence Act of 2006, the US government attempts to set a “physical division” to this fence is often not on the “real” bi-national border. Such is the case of the Horcón Tract, a 413-acre Texan territory of land that is now part of Mexico after the Rio Grande swerved southward. In 1966, the White House recognized that the Horcón Tract “is being administered by Mexico although it is actually part of the United States.” With the construction of border fences, this issue is bound to occur in several other places. To read Professor Kelly’s full op-ed, please click here.