The US established an official border patrol in 1924 with the goal of securing the US-Mexico border. In the photo below, American guards are patting down Mexicans who wish to enter the US.
The Mexicali border station (pictured below in 1929) was surrounded by a tall fence. Cars lined up to cross into California.
Much like today, people coming from Mexico were required to open their bags and suitcases at the border. In this 1937 photo, an agent inspects the possessions of shoppers going from Juarez, Mexico to El Paso, Texas.
People able to enter the US legally passed via turnstiles, as seen in this 1937 photo. During the Great Depression, Mexican immigrants faced increased risk of deportation as American hostility toward immigrant workers grew.
In this 1948 photo, two armed American border guards deterred a group of undocumented immigrants from crossing a river into the US.
Traveling to Mexico from the US was not nearly as difficult. A Sigma Pi sorority chapter from Calexico, California cross into Tijuana in this 1950 photo.
In 1965, Congress passed the Immigration and Nationality Act, which ended caps on the number of immigrants allowed into the US from a given origin country. The act concentrated on reuniting immigrant families and attracting skilled labor to the US.
Friendship Park, dedicated in 1971 in San Diego-Tijuana, was intended to be a bi-national park with wire fencing at the border. In 2009, it closed for the construction of additional steel fencing, and re-opened in 2012.
The American government began building corrugated steel walls stretching eight to 10 feet tall in the early ’90s.
In the late ’90s, inspection stations started using an automated program, called SENTRI, for pre-screened motorists to speed up the crossing process.
In July 2000, 64 special polling stations were set up in border crossing stations so that Mexican voters waiting to cross or living in the US could cast their ballots in the Mexican presidential election.
In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, security checks ramped up at the border.
Pedestrians and cars sometimes waited up to six hours to cross into the US.
Some who knew they couldn’t pass legally tried to hide themselves. Agents discovered the sleeping boy pictured below inside the dashboard of a car coming from Mexico in 2003.
Fears about undocumented immigration grew in the US during the early 2000s. In 2005, a group of civilian organizers launched the Minuteman Project, in which over 1,000 volunteers searched a 23-mile stretch of the Arizona desert for undocumented immigrants.
Border officials detained immigrants who were trying to cross in holding centers like the Arizona one pictured below in 2005.
Police discovered this elaborate tunnel, used to smuggle drugs and people into the US, in 2006. The 2,400-foot-long tunnel featured lighting, ventilation, and equipment to pump out ground water.
With the 2006 Secure Fence Act, the US started construction on more steel fencing. The boundary now spans around 650 miles and cost approximately $6 billion.
From 1998 to 2006, over 2,650 men, women, and children died attempting to cross the US-Mexico border. In the picture below, members of the humanitarian group No More Deaths search for migrants in distress in 2006.
Though Trump says his administration will build a wall, the construction timeline and funding sources remain uncertain.
via: Business Insider