Speed Reads

south of the border

Some chunks of Texas are on the Mexico side of the border wall

Washington, D.C. has apparently never heard of a map.

Wherever there's a wall across America's southern border, it's pretty clear where the U.S. ends and Mexico begins. But when a span of the wall went up to block migration across the Rio Grande, it ended up putting entire Texas communities in what looks like Mexican territory — not that it's stopped those U.S. residents from getting around, The New York Times details.

Brownsville, Texas' story starts in 1970, when the U.S. and Mexico agreed to block construction of "anything that would obstruct the normal flow of the Rio Grande," the Times writes. That became a problem when former President George W. Bush's administration's started building a border wall to curb drug smuggling. But instead of putting the wall right on the river's edge, the "bunch of yo-yos up in D.C." built it "a mile and a half away" in some points, one Texan who owns land south of the fence tells the Times.

Still, life goes on for the dozens of Americans stuck between the fence and the river. Trash collectors usually don't come, and neither does the mail, but Brownsville emergency responders still say they'll get to someone south of the fence just as quickly as someone north of it. After all, there's a paved road running right through the wall.

President Trump has spent his entire candidacy and presidential term pushing for a wall he says will curb immigration. Yet border crossers who make it across the Rio Grande in Brownsville reach U.S. soil — and the right to claim asylum — before they even see a fence. Read more at The New York Times.