NYT video spotlights U.S.-Mexico border history as immigration debate continues | TribLIVE.com

NYT video spotlights U.S.-Mexico border history as immigration debate continues

A U.S. Border Patrol agent drives along the Mexican border in Yuma, Arizona, in this January 2007 file photo.
A group of undocumented aliens are spotted from a Blackhawk helicopter crossing the Mexican border into Yuma, Arizona, in January 2007 in this file photo.
A coyote, or smuggler, pulls a boat across the desert that was going to transport eight illegal aliens crossing the Mexican border into Yuma, Arizona, in this January 2007 file photo.

Immigration continues to be a hot-button topic, with Washington politicians — including ones who represent Western Pennsylvania — trekking to the U.S.-Mexico border on frequent visits to weigh in on the subject.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Scranton, last week visited detention centers along the Texas border that house migrants and asylum seekers crossing into the United States from Mexico. He described one center as feeling crowded and prison-like.

“It just doesn’t correspond with what we think of as America,” Casey said.

The New York Times on Thursday published a seven-minute video explaining the long and complicated history — dating to 1848 — of the U.S.-Mexico border, along with efforts to define the border, build fences and repurpose materials from war and internment camps.

Other politicians representing parts of Western Pennsylvania who have visited the border recently include freshmen U.S. Reps. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Peters, and John Joyce, whose congressional district stretches from Westmoreland County to Chambersburg.

Reschenthaler in June led a bipartisan trip to the southern border, according to his office.

“What I witnessed in the Rio Grande Valley was deeply troubling,” Reschenthaler said. “Even as we were standing on the border, flows of men, women, and children were pouring into the United States to claim asylum, many fraudulently. Smugglers and gang members throughout Mexico and Central America are abusing our broken immigration laws to enrich themselves.”

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