Lou Dobbs' Nightmare Is Just a Few Miles from My House
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Lou Dobbs' Nightmare Is Just a Few Miles from My House

El Paso : TX : USA | Apr 04, 2009 at 7:55 AM PDT
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Blonde is in US; couple (w/ car) are in MX

Lou Dobbs, journalist and host of Lou Dobbs Tonight on CNN, has made himself famous for his relentless opposition to illegal immigrants, the H-1B visa program and guest worker programs. Wikipedia describes his focus as: "primarily on the southern border with Mexico and the drugs and the people that cross it."

Lou might get indigestion while at a picnic at the little scenic park a few miles from my house (pictured above). Locals call this spot, where I took these photos on a recent Sunday afternoon, "The Peace Park." Why would Lou Dobbs flip out here?

OK, the big white monument in the photo? That's the foundational marker of the U.S.-Mexico border (note the black "1" on the side, facing us). It's the first of 276 similar markers that span the southern border of the U.S. from this "Peace Park" clear across to the Pacific Ocean.

The two guys leaning against the front fender of the car are in Mexico. I took this photo standing 30 feet away from them in the U.S. There is absolutely no physical barrier here whatsoever to prevent me from walking on over to Mexico, or, naturally, vice versa. The big rocks--some are painted white--and a wire fence you can step over are the only indicators of the international border line.

Since this isn't an "official port of entry," anyone who crosses that (largely imaginary) line would be committing a misdemeanor and would be in the other country against the law. Legally, it's similar to getting a traffic ticket.

Yes, I watched the U.S. Border Patrol driving in and out of the area. There's a camera trained on the park, too. But other than that, at this spot on the border--the border that divides the greatest economic disparity of any border, anywhere in the world--it's just a nice Sunday for a beer in the park. And the music from our radio crosses the border just fine.

Let's drink the next beer for Lou. And remember that borders are really just imaginary lines on Spaceship Earth.

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In the "images" section: photos of the Border Patrol presence in the park, kids from the park playing in the Rio Grande river, the surveillance camera trained on this sector, the "white rocks" that mark the boundary line, and more. Click on the "view all images" link found beneath the thumbnail images above or on the "Images" tab (above my headshot) at the top of this page.

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Staying on our side of the line!
Group is standing in the U.S.; the car is in Mexico. To take a step on the wrong side of the cement platform is technically breaking the law. Law says you must enter a country at an official port of entry.
Billie Greenwood is based in Davenport, Iowa, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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