They couldn’t build the wall on top of a mountain. That’s why the US-Mexico border wall ends at the foot of Monte Cristo Rey and is reduced to a foot-high concrete block.
It’s the “add-on” to bridge the gap between wall and mountain, like something you’d use to demarcate an industrial estate parking lot.
Yet, for five meters, it is what separates the United States from Mexico.
No wonder migrants still choose this mountain as their preferred route to the United States.
Title 42 or not, the routine continues.
The day after the old law expired, we saw groups of migrants crossing the mountain.
I counted a dozen, hidden among the rocks, visible in the distance through a wave of scorching heat between the sand and the scrub typical of the border topography.
To know more:
What does the end of title 42 mean?
Thousands of migrants go to the border with the United States
The El Paso church that has become a symbol of America’s failing immigration system
They scanned the ground below, one using binoculars, out of sight of the US Border Patrol helicopter buzzing in aerial pursuit.
A mounted officer searched the mountaintop terrain, while colleagues in vehicles gave chase at his foothills.
It’s a game of cat and mouse, too easy to forget that humans are at the center.
Debate about the political fallout and impact of the election smothers individual stories of hope and anticipation, as depicted on Mount Cristo Rey.
We witnessed a group of migrants emerge, running from behind the rocks, with a man of a grandfather’s age trailing behind.
Minutes later, a lone woman leapt down a track that skirted the base of the mountain.
I can’t talk about their history or the reasons they made the illegal passage into the United States – they were moving too fast – but, from afar, they embodied the often underreported condition of the migrant.