Book Review: U.S.-Mexico border has always been artificial barrier
David Martin Davies
Special to the Express-News
The Imaginary Line, A History of the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey 1848-1857
By Joseph Richard Werne
The establishment of the joint U.S.-Mexico Boundary Survey was ordered in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the American occupation of Mexico and deeded over the vast lands to the victor.
But the creation of the border did not create a barrier. It had an opposite effect. In the 150 years since its demarcation this international perimeter has become a magnet for people.
From the beginning there was little respect for the border. The stone monuments constructed to mark the borderline were looted for building materials. And families crossed back and forth at will without being interrupted by either federal authority.
It wasn't destiny that manifested these changes in borders, but the will and whimsy of men.