Building a wall along the 2,000-mile border between the United States and Mexico was a signature plank of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. His win in November is bringing the reality of that proposal into focus.

The U.S. has 650 miles of existing barrier and Texas has the most border left open.

In this special report, the Texas Standard speaks with local officials, business owners, landowners and residents living and working along the border. We explore how the community in south and west Texas transcends the border. We ask about the logistics of building a wall, what Trump’s proposal means to Mexicans living across the border, how the wall would affect wildlife in the area and what a wall would mean for those working in border protection.

Border Community Divided by Existing Barriers, Leery of New Ones
A fence already runs through town and extends for miles out to the west of Brownsville. Residents were upset when it went up and are worried an actual wall will hurt the city.

by David Brown & Rhonda Fanning

How Border Patrol Agents’ Jobs Could Change if Trump Builds a Wall

“Hopefully we can get out of the babysitting business and get back into the enforcement business where we belong.”

by Alain Stephens

Residents Concerned Wall Would Affect Cultural, Business and Familial Ties that Transcend the Border


Border-wall proponents forget that for decades before 9/11, passage between the U.S. and Mexico was easy for the towns separated by just a sliver of the Rio Grande.

by Rachel Osier Lindley

Mexico Proposes Legislation to Counter Border Wall Expansion


Should Trump follow through on threats to expand the wall, withdraw U.S. participation in NAFTA or stop remittances, Mexico could target American assets in Mexico – assets estimated to cost over $100 billion.

by Lorne Matalon

With Lack of Details, Border Landowners Contemplate What a Wall Would Mean


Like many people thinking about the wall, alfalfa farmer Terry Bishop doesn’t know what to do but wait and see.

by Travis Bubenik

Major Border Patrol Stations in Texas

What Would it Take to Build Trump’s Border Wall?


The president-elect won’t just need a plan for a physical barrier, he’ll need a plan for the infrastructure that goes with it.

by Michael Marks

Border Wildlife Threatened by Proposed Wall, Could Face Extinction

In some areas, border barriers could block up to 75 percent of an animal’s natural habitat.

by Alexandra Hart

Thought of New Wall Horrifies One Mexican Family Searching for Their Daughter’s Remains


They’ve found more than 3,000 remains in a border area not even a mile long. But so far, they haven’t found signs of Fanny.

by Joy Diaz

Miles of Border
Border Apprehensions in 2016
Miles of Barrier
Border Patrol Agents


Omar Bárcena/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Brooke Binkowski/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

CBP Border Security Report – Fiscal Year 2016 

Layout by Allyson Michele