Visualizing Where The US-Mexico Border Is Most Susceptible To Illegal Immigration

Tyler Durden's picture

Last week we highlighted another leaked document from the Department of Homeland Security allegedly detailing the costs and timeline of building Trump's border wall (see "DHS Report: Trump "Wall" To Cost $22 Billion, Take 3.5 Years To Build").  According to Reuters, the DHS report pegged the cost of the wall at $22 billion and estimated a construction timeline of 3.5 years.

Offering the first official glimpse of the parameters of Trump's "wall" along the US-Mexican border, an internal Department of Homeland Security report seen by Reuters reveals that the structure would be a series of fences and walls that would cost as much as $21.6 billion, and take some three and a half years to construct. The proposed cost is much higher than the $12-billion figure cited by Trump during his campaign and also higher than the $15 billion cited by Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. This latest leaked report is expected to be presented to DHS Secretary John Kelly in the coming days, although the administration will not necessarily take the actions it recommends.


Allegedly the new border wall will be completed in three phases, with the first phase covering only 26 miles around the easily accessible areas surrounding San Diego, CA and El Paso, Texas.  Among other things, starting with the easiest and most accessible sections of the wall will allow President Trump to declare an early victory on a key campaign promise.


Phase two of the project would cover another 151 miles around other large border cities while phase three would effectively seal off the border.

Today, data and maps provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Bloomberg help to provide some context for where the United States' southern board is most porous and sheds light on why certain portions of the border were targeted for early completion.  Nearly half of all illegal immigrant apprehensions in 2016, 187,000 people, occurred in the Rio Grande Valley of Southern Texas which is targeted in phase 1 of Trump's border plan.  

Border Crossings


As Bloomberg notes, the construction of border barriers was seemingly effective at reducing illegal crossings in San Diego in the early 90s and Arizona in the early 2000's.  Since then, crossings have continued to move east and most recently spiked in the Rio Grande Valley of Southern Texas. 

There was a significant drop in apprehensions after fencing was built near San Diego in the early 1990s. The drop there was followed by a spike in apprehensions to the east, near Tucson, Arizona, where the border was less fortified. When fencing was extended across much of the Arizona border, apprehensions fell there, too. Now apprehensions are highest in the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector in southern Texas. Much of Texas lacks fencing, though there is some in the Rio Grande Valley.

Border Crossings


As of now, roughly one-third of the southern border has some type of barrier ranging from 18-foot-tall iron fencing and corrugated metal to makeshift vehicle barriers and barbed wire.

Border Crossings


Of course, most of the existing border fence was built after the 2006 passage of the Secure Fence Act, under President George W. Bush.

Federally funded construction began in the 1990s, when 14 miles of fencing was built along the California border during the George H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations. The barriers targeted border crossers between Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego.


In 2006, George W. Bush signed the Secure Fence Act, which ultimately led to construction of 653 miles of reinforced fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border. The Department of Homeland Security had finished most of the fencing by the time President Barack Obama took office in 2009, but the agency still has 47 miles of authorized, unfinished fencing to be constructed. Trump has cited the Secure Fence Act as the legal authority to restart the work on border barriers.

Border Crossings


While the latest DHS report pegged the cost of Trump's wall at $22 billion, estimates from different sources vary wildly from Trump's $8 billion estimate on the low end to New America Foundation's $40 billion target on the high end. 

Border Crossings


So, cash or charge, Mr. Fox?

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Itshappening's picture

this cat and mouse game will continue until we treat border hoppers like invaders.

besnook's picture

and put a rfid tag inside of them with a matching scartoo to mark them so they never come back.

Byte Me's picture

Unneeded complications. Facial recognition algos are plenty sophisticated enough.

Sad, but true.

wanglee's picture
wanglee (not verified) xythras Feb 13, 2017 10:14 PM

We can’t afford to support illegal immigrants and refugees since welfare should go to US poor first when we have 20 trillion dollar debts. We don’t even have our own border. Working class don't have jobs since super rich move jobs oversea for cheap labor. Student debts are tripling in two decades. The richest illegal immigrants are those who commit drug crimes. Rich people buy politicians for power and protection such that government officials in US Sanctuary cities resist to corporate with federal government to deport illegal immigrants who commit crimes. Any elected officials who are against “law and order” should be replaced immediately.

Cashing in: Illegal immigrants get $1,261 more welfare than American families, $5,692 vs. $4,431 (
Austin Sheriff Says She'll not Cooperate With Federal Immigration Authorities for drug crime (
Mexican drug cartels using Austin as a "distribution point" (
67,213 Illegal immigrants were charged with drug offenses and drug-related crimes topped the criminal alien conviction list in Texas between June 1, 2011 and January 31, 2017 (
DEA Report Shows Infiltration of Mexican Drug Cartels in Sanctuary Cities (
Crime rises in sanctuary cities - Washington Times (
President Obama has almost doubled our national debt to more than $19 trillion, and growing (
A twenty trillion dollar national debt will be Barack Obama's legacy (
Why the Student Loan Crisis Is Even Worse Than People Think (
Islamic Terror on American Soil (

hedgeless_horseman's picture


Trump's wall is going to look so interesting running right through 118 miles of Big Bend National National Park...


Not to mention Big Bend Ranch State Park.

Can't you just imagine it?


If you have never visited the border area, the ZeroHedge Symposium in Marfa this June is a great opportunity to do so.

Hope y'all come down!

I believe it will become painfully obvious to all who do what a stupid fucking idea the wall is.  People will always be able to tunnel under or climb over an unguraded wall.


Staffing Border Patrol is what backs a fence up - along with motion sensors, drone patrols using night vision, etc. 

Cost is a fucking drop in the bucket compared to SNAP cards, medical, dental, and social services for all the newbies here illegally.

It ain't worth the social upheaval, and drug cartel damage just  to have some agribusinesses get taxpayer subsidized crop pickers and chicken pluckers.

hedgeless_horseman's picture


Staffing Border Patrol is what backs a fence up - along with motion sensors, drone patrols using night vision, etc.

More militarized Federal employees?

Be careful what you wish for.

laser's picture

Not more. Use some of those spreading death and destruction on the other side of the world.

philipat's picture

And also re-direct some of that electronic surveillance presently directed at US citizens?


Well, faced with the choice of a fat American Paul Blart, Border Cop, and a few head chopping torture loving spray and pray turf war cartel gang heroin dealing Mexicans, I choose Door Number One. 

hedgeless_horseman's picture


Like you, unfortunately, most people choose to give up real  liberty for the perceived  security of government.

philipat's picture

Obozo left quite a lot of drones behind which could also enforce the borders. Beyond that, razor wire is quite effective and also electify the fucking thing, both above and below ground. They would soon get the message?

philipat's picture

Bottom line, you can't have a Democtratic Sovereign State without being able to prevent (And I call them what they are) Illegal Aliens from crossing the Borders. The Democrats and the Globalists understand this perfectly so when will YOU wake up?


Look - in general, I like what you do, and who you represent yourself as a human being. 

But, lately, you been on some kind of a fucked up attitude tear, with wild divergence into the Twilight Zone.

Are you off your fucking meds or something ?

Fuck you and your dreamy asshole dipshit rainbow skittle shitting flying unicorn interpretation of what my philosophy towards government actually is.

I want the REAL security of a non porus border that has welcomed at least 11 million illegal immigrants conservatiuvely speaking within the last 30 years.

I also want the government to act by their oaths of office for real.

I want severe criminal penalties for any holder of public office who does anything fraudulent, anything criminal, anything self serving, anything influence peddling, anything dishonest. 

Mandatory 10 years hard labor, no parole, felony criminal record for life to start with.

Actually, you could shit can 90 percent of federal govenment, and we would get along just fine without them.

Kill the FED, BATF, and the CIA, just to start.  

Destroy the military industrial complex.

Hold the government to the Constitution first, and foremost, or send the fuckers home. 

Bring troops home, and let them secure our borders, instead of dying in phoney wars to fluff up quarterly dividends. 

Become the good guys of the world - ride out to get the real bad guys only, and leave the rest of the world the fuck alone.

An armed society is a polite society - make open carry mandatory for anyone over the age of 18. 

There's a fucking start to the book of what I feel about government you smug prick mind reading fake news asshole.  

Glad I could straighten out your fucking attitude - now fuck off, then, fuck off moreso.  

Déjà view's picture

You Tejans need to enforce current employment/immigration laws...

1. Why are illegals able to attend U of Tejas etc...under in state tuition!

2. Why does Tejas allow sanctuary cities?

3. Why is spanish on par with english language?

4. Why are illegals able to drive a motor vehicle with a Tejas DL?

5. Why do Tejas local school districts enroll illegals knowing very well mamcita/papacito are illegal

6. Why don't Tejas businesses inquire if S.S.# is valid?

7. Y' all kiss to much A$$...don't want to lose those 3-4 house rep members based on illegal population...and...all those 'Feral' $'$ spent on illegals do wonders for Tejas economy...

DID I MISS ANYTHING??????????????

Ignorance is bliss's picture

Why don't we just cut the freebies. I'm sure the free loafers would just head home then. I'm not a fan of the wall. It can be used to keep people in as well as out.

hedgeless_horseman's picture


Politicians NEVER go after the Johns, only the prostitutes.

Politicians NEVER go after the employers, only the illegal workers.

Want to guess why?

besnook's picture

i like mine fields for tunnels and walkers. bouncing betties should create a lot of excitement.


hedgeless_horseman's picture


It worked for André Maginot and France!






besnook's picture

90 miles of water kept mosdt of cuba at bay. i don't know about the gulf of mexico but the pacific ain't that friendly for rickety boats. most of them would drown in the last 100 yards to shore.

Refuse-Resist's picture

Let us know when Mexico can reach the levels of military, economic, scientific, and industrial prowess of Germany.

Personally, I don't see any Mexicans doing the El Blitzkreigo... no time for siestas, cervezas, and sexing little girls.

Have a red.



sheikurbootie's picture

Fucking BINGO!  Silvergeddon, you won the internet today.

The illegal thing makes my blood boil.  I lived as an ex-pat for many years.  I lived and worked overseas WITH proper work permits.  The governments tracked my every move.  My company paid a shit ton of foreign taxes for me to be there.  Yet, America is a free for all.  The illegals pay nothing, they game the system,  their kids go to our schools, we pay for interpreters, we have to press #1 for english.  WTF 

Plain and simple ILLEGALS are all THIEVES.  They're stealing jobs, they're stealing government money, they're stealing from the IRS, they're stealing from public schools.  WE pay for all of this and I'm tired of paying.

laser's picture

My sister moved [escaped ] to Colombia. To stay there, she had to prove an income of three times the average local yearly income amongst other requirements. Theirs is a model we might adopt if we had any common sense.

nmewn's picture

Maybe you should do some target practice and make it more inhospitably unwelcoming than it already is, that way it won't have to be done.


hedgeless_horseman's picture


Maybe we should enforce the existing laws. 

Catch and release does not work. 

What are you going to do about the coastlines?  Latinos can operate a boat.

Mexicans know how to dig, that is for certain...

Have you ever been to South Texas?


Really, really, BIG!

I don't want to pay for more Federal employees to guard the border, probably more than I don't want to pay for more illegal immigrants to cross it. 

Illegal immigrants do far more productive work for far less money!

nmewn's picture

Of course catch & release doesn't work but I found it mildly interesting in your idyllic photos that you didn't zoom in on the thousands of pounds of trash & plastic or bodies left behind or the failed state that is Mexico's current government and its lack of enforcement of its own border.

The Mexican government made this problem not us and still to this day it uses its own people as "political leverage" much more evidence is needed?


And don't amend your original comments to me while I'm replying, it makes you look like a weak elitist who simply has ZH posting

hedgeless_horseman's picture


the thousands of pounds of trash & plastic or bodies left behind

You are showing your ignorance of the facts.

Big Bend is a very pristine National Park.

Come see for yourself.

No garbage to zoom in on.

nmewn's picture

So no illegals crossing then, now who is showing their ignorance?

hedgeless_horseman's picture


So no illegals crossing..

Way to beat that straw man!

nmewn's picture

It was a simple yes or no question.

You said there were not any...not me.

natxlaw's picture

That area is a big hot desert. You'd much rather cross near the towns.


Most of the trash is the two legged variety - either they are still alive, or the coyotes have cleaned up the mess. 

LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD's picture
LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD (not verified) nmewn Feb 13, 2017 9:28 PM

Cheap labor or not, the ENTIRE purpose of leftists flooding the country with third world takers is to populate the country with DEMOCRAT/SOCIALIST VOTERS.  To finally BREAK the system so that an all powerful, Big Central Planning, government can rule over us.  That alone is enough reason to keep them out and fix the B.S. stating that anyone born in the U.S. is a U.S. citizen.

hedgeless_horseman's picture


...fix the B.S. stating that anyone born in the U.S. is a U.S. citizen.


nmewn's picture


Anyone born to an American citizen is a citizen. That will fix it, dropping a child and your after birth in the dirt five inches away from an international border doesn't fix anything or make anyone "a citizen" in my view.

But not everyone likes "rule changes" on the fly when its their ox thats being gored, do they? ;-)


Déjà view's picture

14th Amendment...applies to tourists and anyone on a illegal 'visit' to U.S. Should only apply U.S. citizens and legal residents.


Bludklot's picture

I think it is part of the Kalergi Plan.

laser's picture

Bring the overseas troops home to use for defense rather than offense. You're right, we need fewer armed Federal employees.

Mustafa Kemal's picture

"Maybe you should do some target practice and make it more inhospitably unwelcoming than it already is,"

Maybe you should. Then you could spend the rest of your life in prison, as you should

NoWayJose's picture

I can imagine a stone wall built of native stone - on the US side of the border. It will be magnificent! And who cares if the side of the wall facing Mexico is just re-bar concrete?

hedgeless_horseman's picture


And who cares if the side of the wall facing Mexico is just re-bar concrete?

Perfect!  Thank goodness Mexicans can't climb.

LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD's picture
LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD (not verified) hedgeless_horseman Feb 13, 2017 9:30 PM

Electrify it...

Bludklot's picture

I think that portions of the fense will consist of electronic sensors. If you look at the top map Big Bend does not get a great deal of action, and your pictures show why. There also needs to be consideration for migrating wildlife crossing the border at certain places. Pipelines have built ramps for wildlife, which they have become used to using them. It would be easy to instrument the fairly precise locations where the wildlife cross. Maybe the ICE can use those automated heavy machine guns like the ones in Hunger Games, remotely controlled of course to prevent an ecological disaster by accidently shooting some antelope or something like that.

slyder wood's picture

I'm vehemently opposed to illegal immigration, not only that, I loathe and despise the mestizo culture. That being said, the wall is a boondoggle. Fine and jail employers, end the 14th, isolate and expose the pro-immigration tribe-backed orgs -problem solved.
Another concern about the wall is it disrupts the ancient migratory routes of large and small land animals. These routes have been around since prehistoric times. They are somewhat compromised today but the remnants still exist. You'd be surprised what roams around in that scrub, arroyo and canyon.

sheikurbootie's picture

Fuck the national park.  BUILD THE WALL

Clear cut it all and paint it green.

Anteater's picture

22,000,000 aliens wing it over the border every year WITHOUT ANY VISAS! Nobody is tracking the overstaying wage workers.

Israel is to be added to Visa Waiver Program. Then there will be more Israelis in the country that Jews and Muslims combined.

We know NYC and WADC is packed with Israelis. Look at Wall Street. But there's no Mexicans and no Muslims on Wall Street.

"I can't tell you where all the money went!" Benhamin -- Well what happened to all the Mexicans and Muslims then, Ben?!