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Mexico Border El Paso

The United States–Mexico border is the international border between the United States and Mexico . It runs from Imperial Beach , California , and Tijuana , Baja California , in the west to Matamoros , Tamaulipas , and Brownsville , Texas , in the east, and traverses a variety of terrains, ranging from major urban areas to inhospitable deserts. From the Gulf of Mexico it follows the course of the Rio Grande (Río Bravo del Norte) to the border crossing at El Paso , Texas , and Ciudad Juárez , Chihuahua ; westward from that binational conurbation it crosses vast tracts of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Desert , the Colorado River Delta , westward to the binational conurbation of San Diego and Tijuana before reaching the Pacific Ocean . The US-Mexican border is considered an open border

The border's total length is 3,169 km (1,969 mi), according to figures given by the International Boundary and Water Commission . It is the most frequently crossed international border in the world, with approximately three hundred fifty million (350,000,000) crossings per year.

History

In the mid-16th century, with the discovery of silver, settlers from a variety of countries and backgrounds began to arrive in the area. This period of sparse settlement included colonizers from different backgrounds. The area technically was part of the Spanish colony, but due to the lack of population and the diverse citizenry it had, it did not seem to belong to any country. This period lasted until the early 19th century at which point the United States bought the lands known as the Louisiana Purchase from France and began to expand steadily westward in its pursuit of Manifest Destiny.

The border itself was now clearly defined and remained so until the Mexican colony became independent from Spain and entered a period of political instability. Mexico attempted to create a buffer zone at the border that would prevent possible invasion from the North. In order to do so the Mexican government encouraged thousands of their own citizens to settle in the region that is now known as Texas and even offered very inexpensive land to settlers from the United States in exchange for populating the area. The influx of people did not provide the defense that Mexico had hoped for and instead the Texas territory declared its independence in 1836. That independence lasted until 1845 when the United States annexed Texas .

The constant conflicts in the Texas region in the mid 19th century eventually led to the Mexican-American War , which began in 1846 and ended in 1848 with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo . Due to the treaty Mexico lost more than 960,000 square miles (about 2,500,000 km²) of land, 55% of its national territory, including what is today California , Arizona , New Mexico , Utah , Nevada and parts of Colorado , Wyoming , Kansas , and Oklahoma in addition, all disputes over Texas and the disputed territory between Rio Grande and Rio Nueces were abandoned. Five years later the Gadsden Purchase completed the creation of the current United States–Mexico border. These purchases left approximately 300,000 people living in the once disputed lands, many of whom were Mexican nationals. Following the establishment of the current border a number of towns sprang up along this boundary and many of the Mexican citizens were given free land in the northern regions of Mexico in exchange for returning and repopulating the area.

The economic development of the border region on the Mexican side of the border depended largely on its proximity to the United States due to its remoteness from the commercial centers in Mexico. During the years of Mexican President Porfirio Díaz , between 1876 and 1910, growth of the border communities boomed due mostly to its close ties to the United States and the Mexican governments support for financial investments from the United States. Railroads were built that connected the northern Mexican states more to the United States than to Mexico and the population grew tremendously. The mining industry also developed, as did the United States' control of it. By the early 20th century companies from the United States controlled 81% of the mining industry and had invested five hundred million dollars in the Mexican economy overall, twenty-five percent of which went to the border regions alone.

The Mexican Revolution , caused at least partially by the increasing animosity towards foreign ownership of Mexican properties, began in 1910. The Revolution increased the political instability in Mexico, but actually did not significantly slow United States investment. It did reduce economic development within Mexico however, and the border regions reflected this. As the infrastructure of communities on the United States side of the boundary continued to improve, its Mexican counterparts began to fall behind in the construction of important transportation networks and systems necessary to municipal development as well as the upkeep of systems already in place.

Travel Advisory from the United States Department of State
March 14, 2010
The Department of State has issued this Travel Warning to inform U.S. citizens traveling to and living in Mexico of concerns about the security situation in Mexico, and that it has authorized the departure of the dependents of U.S. government personnel from U.S. consulates in the Northern Mexican border cities of Tijuana, Nogales, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey and Matamoros until April 12. Family members of US Government personnel assigned to other areas of Mexico outside the Mexican border states are not affected by this departure measure. This Travel Warning supercedes that of February 22, 2010, and announces the authorized departure of some dependents and updates security incidents.

While millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year (including tens of thousands who cross the land border daily for study, tourism or business and nearly one million U.S. citizens who live in Mexico), violence in the country has increased. It is imperative that U.S. citizens understand the risks in Mexico, how best to avoid dangerous situations, and who to contact if victimized. Common-sense precautions such as visiting only legitimate business and tourist areas during daylight hours, and avoiding areas where prostitution and drug dealing might occur, can help ensure that travel to Mexico is safe and enjoyable.

Recent violent attacks have prompted the U.S. Embassy to urge U.S. citizens to delay unnecessary travel to parts of Durango, Coahuila and Chihuahua states(see details below) and advise U.S. citizens residing or traveling in those areas to exercise extreme caution. Drug cartels and associated criminal elements have retaliated violently against individuals who speak out against them or whom they otherwise view as a threat to their organizations. These attacks include the abduction and murder of two resident U.S. citizens in Chihuahua.

Passport Information
June 20, 2007 — The Department of Homeland Security today has stated that beginning January 31, 2008, U.S. and Canadian citizens will need to present either a passport or government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, plus proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, when entering the U.S. Children under 16 years of age would be required to present certified copies of their birth certificates.

At a date still to be determined, DHS would begin implementing full requirements of the land and sea phase of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which mandates that all persons entering the U.S. be required to show a passport or authorized travel documents. Government officials said they expect full implementation to be in the summer of 2008, though Congress has required that it be implemented only by June 2009. Both the Senate and House recently passed legislation requiring that the new rules be implemented no earlier than the June 2009 date.

New requirements for having passports to enter the U.S. on airplanes began in January. The increased number of applications for passports inundated the State Department and caused the processing time to balloon from three weeks a year ago to up to three months presently. The State Department recently announced that through September 30 it will temporarily allow American air passengers to re-enter the U.S. if they have a government-issued photo ID and proof that they have applied for a passport.

Information gathered from the Travel Industry Association Web Site, June 20, 2007

Facilities And Crossings
Bridge of the Americas Commercial Operations
Phone:
(915) 872-5720
Operational Hours:
6:00 AM-2:00 PM
Saturday
6:00 AM-6:00 PM
Weekdays (Monday-Friday)
________________________________________
Bridge of the Americas Port of Entry
Phone:
(915) 872-5710
Operational Hours:
Twenty Four (24) Hours A Day
Seven Days A Week (7)
________________________________________
El Paso International Airport – Customs
Phone:
(915) 782-4700
Operational Hours:
8:00 AM-12:00 PM
Weekdays (Monday-Friday)
________________________________________
Paso Del Norte Port of Entry
Phone:
(915) 872-5700
Operational Hours:
Twenty Four (24) Hours A Day
Seven Days A Week (7)
________________________________________
Ysleta Commercial Operations
Phone:
(915) 872-3434
Operational Hours:
9:00 AM-5:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM-12:00 PM
Weekdays (Monday-Friday)
________________________________________
Ysleta Port of Entry
Phone:
(915) 872-3424
Operational Hours:
Twenty Four (24) Hours A Day
Seven Days A Week (7)

INTERNATIONAL BRIDGE TOLLS*
Santa Fe/Stanton Bridges (Downtown):
Pedestrian Toll Into Juarez $ .25
Returning To El Paso $ .25
Passenger Car Into Juarez $1.25
Returning To El Paso $1.85
Cordova Bridge, 5 mi. to downtown: Free
Zaragosa Bridge (18 mi. to downtown):
Passenger Car Into Mexico $1.25
Returning to El Paso $1.85

All fares and tolls are subject to change.
Delays can be expected at all bridges.

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