With debate raging in the United States and Mexico over President Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall along the nations’ border, AFP photographers decided to take a closer look. Just what did this border look like? What did the people living and working there think?
So they took 10 days to drive nearly 1,750 miles along the border. Jim Watson, based in Washington, drove on the US side from California to Texas. Guillermo Arias, based in Tijuana, drove on the Mexican side from Baja California to Tamaulipas with Yuri Cortez, based in Mexico City, joining him along the way.
They found drug cartel-inspired fear on the Mexican side, an eerie quiet on the other. Endless desert and farmland stretching to the horizon. Signs of migrants, but, aside from one woman with a baby, none in sight.
They saw Americans crossing into Mexico for cheap medical care and medicine and Mexicans crossing into the US to labor on farms. Teenagers recording music by the river. People deported from the US who lived close to the border because their families remained on the other side. One guy walking along the highway with his dog was thinking of not stopping until the east coast.
They found much apprehension about the proposed wall on both sides of the border. And at times an imposing fence and barriers snaking along much of the frontier.