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About the Travelogue: Tales from the Border

March 23, 2017
Border fence between Brownsville, Texas and Matamoros, Mexico. March 21, 2017.
Border fence between Brownsville, Texas and Matamoros, Mexico. March 21, 2017.

President Donald Trump has promised to build a wall along the nearly 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border stretching from the Gulf Coast to the Pacific Ocean, crack down on illegal immigration and renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The policies are bound to have a profound impact on the people and communities along the frontier, a rich and diverse area traversing cities and uninhabited desert in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. In many places, it is hard to tell where one country starts and the other ends, the line sometimes marked only by a meandering river, a fragile fence, or a sign.

The Associated Press is sending reporter Christopher Sherman and photographer Rodrigo Abd on a nearly two-week journey along the border to see what is happening on the ground.

It’s the world’s most frequently crossed international boundary, a zone where every year illegal drugs and hundreds of thousands of unauthorized migrants move north, unlawful weapons move south, and hundreds of billions of dollars in legitimate commerce travel in both directions.

Traveling west starting on Wednesday, they will drive from the eastern end of the border near the Gulf of Mexico to Tijuana and San Diego on the Pacific coast. The sections of existing fence and the proposed border wall will feature in their conversations with people who live on both sides of the border and regularly cross back and forth, from Matamoros and Brownsville in the east to Tijuana and San Diego in the west.

But the boundary won’t be the only topic: In recent months there have been many proposals that could affect this region and its residents, including a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the increasingly aggressive immigration enforcement in the United states.

Every day, Sherman and Abd will bring you fresh voices and images from both sides of these vast and varied borderlands. No single anecdote can tell the full story of the border in isolation; their goal is to fashion a mosaic that captures the complexity of this binational region at a moment when so much is up in the air.

They will update their travelogue with regular text entries, photographs and videos. You can follow their journey starting Thursday at Tales from the Border.

Sherman and Abd can also be followed on Twitter at:

@chrisshermanAP

@RodrigoabdAbd

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