Saudi Arabia Map Tourist Attractions

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The United States, in similar strategies to Australia but a decade earlier, also attempted to limit illegal passage across its borders. In 1994, President Bill Clinton began a new border strategy, strangely enough corresponding with The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which sought to remove barriers between the US, Mexico and Canada. Operation Hold the Line’ in El Paso, Operation Safeguard’ in Arizona and Operation Gatekeeper’ in the San Diego area sought effectively and physically to block any possibility of immigrants crossing into the US in urban areas (Clayton 1995). The US Border Patrol’s blockade of the US-Mexico border in El Paso, Operation Hold the Line’, was extended ten miles west along the border into southern New Mexico in 1999. The extension of the blockade increased it to 30 miles long and the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) agents currently are stationed every quarter mile along the El Paso, Texas-Ciudad Juarez border (Palafox 2006). In 2006 the INS proudly announced that there had been a drastic reduction in illegal crossings since the security was increased (Palafox 2006). This is very much disputed by academics, other US government bodies including the Department of Agriculture, Homeland Security, the State Department and California’s, Arizona’s and Texas’s State Agricultural labour surveys (Palafox 2006). All in all it is estimated that between three and four thousand migra, (Immigration Agents) patrol the Jaurez-El Paso border at any one time. These include, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), the National Guard (introduced in June 2006) and law enforcement officers from both nations in both state and federal capacities (US 2006).

The city of Juarez is located on the Mexican side of the border just across from El Paso, Texas, and roughly fifteen miles from the state of New Mexico’s border with Texas. Juarez-El Paso is an interesting example of how NAFTA provided economic incentives for location of assembly factories just across the US border. Relatively inexpensive labour and a high demand for consumer goods meant that numerous twin border cities became home to the likes of Volkswagon, Sony and Foxconn formerly ACER (Industry Week 2011). Ciudad Juarez’s population exceeded 1.2 million in 2000, up from 800,000 in 1990. The average annual growth over this ten-year period was 5.3 per cent. Juarez, the fifth largest city in Mexico, currently has over two million permanent residents and an estimated half a million temporary residents (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas 2011). There is widespread unemployment, poverty and homelessness in Juarez. The city’s infrastructures simply cannot compete with the population influxes. The population increase is partially due to the increasing number of migrants from central Mexico who come to work at the border factories (maquiladoras) as well as others who come to the border city to cross illegally into the US. There are in fact thousands of immigrants who are willing to risk their lives daily to work in America (Humane Borders n.d.). One of the main consequences of Operation Hold the Line’ is that it forces immigrants to cross the border in the mountains and deserts where the conditions are harsher and more dangerous. It is estimated that over one million people per year cross illegally into the United States from Canada and Mexico mainly for the purpose of employment (Stop Operation Gatekeeper 2006). A University of Houston study estimated that over three thousand people have died crossing the El Paso border between 1993 and 1999. According to records kept by the Mexican Consulate in Houston for 1998, 520 border crossers died in Texas and New Mexico since Hold the Line began (Eschbach et al. 1999: 437). Other sources estimate that over three thousand undocumented workers die annually crossing this particular part of the border (Humane Borders n.d.).

There has been a continual re-configuration of the border area between El Paso and Juarez since the Mexican Cession of 1848, The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo and the Gadsden Purchase in 1853 established the borders’ inception over 150 years ago (Castillo 1992: 57). Historically and legally, the border is marked by the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo del Norte River. As it is a meandering river, the international border migrated for a number of years within the ebb and flow of the water and its riparian ecosystem. The Chamizal Dispute, an over-one hundred-year border dispute between the United States and Mexico was caused by the natural change of course of the river between the cities of El Paso and Juarez. A national memorial was established on part of the disputed land that was assigned to the United States according to the Chamizal Treaty of 1963; a corresponding Parque Publico Federal El Chamizal’ was created on the now-Mexican portion of the land. The river was stabilized within a concrete channel. This change left a void in the urban fabric, the empty parkland, between Juarez and El Paso that still exists today (Castillo 1992: 112).

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