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FILE In this Dec. 3, 2014 file picture, Rene Peralta, 46, waits in his car to enter the United States from Tijuana, Mexico through the San Ysidro port of entry. Long lines disappeared overnight for tens of thousands of motorists who regularly enter the country at the nation’s busiest border crossing, after a $741 million makeover. border with Mexico must be secured for millions in the country illegally to stay. To many commuters at the nation’s busiest crossing, their border already is secure even thriving by historical standards. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

In this Sept. 10, 2014 file photo, Johann Rodriguez caresses her three month old son Lionel as he falls asleep after nursing while waiting in line at the Western Hemisphere’s busiest border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico. Rodriguez crosses the border most days to work in the United States. To many Republican presidential contenders in Thursday, Aug. border with Mexico must be secured for millions in the country illegally to stay. To many commuters at the nation’s busiest crossing, their border already is secure even thriving by historical standards. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

In this Nov. 15, 2013 file photo, Tijuana based tour guide Derrik Chinn, right, leads Michael Beverly and his wife Amanda, both of Newfoundland, Canada, on an evening walk along the Mexican side of the border as floodlights beam through the border structure from the United States side, in Tijuana, Mexico. To many Republican presidential contenders in Thursday, Aug. border with Mexico must be secured for millions in the country illegally to stay. To many commuters at the nation’s busiest crossing, their border already is secure even thriving by historical standards. and Mexico as the border meets the Pacific Ocean in San Diego. border with Mexico must be secured for millions in the country illegally to stay. To many commuters at the nation’s busiest crossing, their border already is secure even thriving by historical standards. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

In this Sept. 10, 2014 photo, Irma Ortiz applies makeup while waiting in line to cross into the United States from Tijuana, Mexico. Ortiz lives in Tijuana and works in San Diego, crossing the border almost daily. border with Mexico must be secured for millions in the country illegally to stay. To many commuters at the nation’s busiest crossing, their border already is secure even thriving by historical standards. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

In this June 7, 2001 handout file photo provided by Immigration and Naturalization Services, Enrique Aguilar Canchola, a 42 year old Mexican national, hides in the seat of a vehicle, that according to government officials, was being used to smuggle him into the United States from Mexico at the San Ysidro port of entry in San Diego. border with Mexico must be secured for millions in the country illegally to stay. To many commuters at the nation’s busiest crossing, their border already is secure even thriving by historical standards. (AP Photo/Immigration and Naturalization Services)

FILE In this Dec. 3, 2014 file photo, cars wait to enter the United States from Tijuana, Mexico through the San Ysidro port of entry in San Diego. Long lines disappeared overnight for tens of thousands of motorists who regularly enter the country at the nation’s busiest border crossing, after a $741 million makeover. To many Republican presidential contenders in Thursday, Aug. border with Mexico must be secured for millions in the country illegally to stay. To many commuters at the nation’s busiest crossing, their border already is secure even thriving by historical standards. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

FILE In this Dec. 3, 2014 file picture, Rene Peralta, 46, waits in his car to enter the United States from Tijuana, Mexico through the San Ysidro port of entry. Long lines disappeared overnight for tens of thousands of motorists who regularly enter the country at the nation’s busiest border crossing, after a $741 million makeover. border with Mexico must be secured for millions in the country illegally to stay. To many commuters at the nation’s busiest crossing, their border already is secure even thriving by historical standards. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

In this Sept. 10, 2014 file photo, Johann Rodriguez caresses her three month old son Lionel as he falls asleep after nursing while waiting in line at the Western Hemisphere’s busiest border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico. Rodriguez crosses the border most days to work in the United States. To many Republican presidential contenders in Thursday, Aug. border with Mexico must be secured for millions in the country illegally to stay. To many commuters at the nation’s busiest crossing, their border already is secure even thriving by historical standards. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

In this Nov. 15, 2013 file photo, Tijuana based tour guide Derrik Chinn, right, leads Michael Beverly and his wife Amanda, both of Newfoundland, Canada, on an evening walk along the Mexican side of the border as floodlights beam through the border structure from the United States side, in Tijuana, Mexico. To many Republican presidential contenders in Thursday, Aug. border with Mexico must be secured for millions in the country illegally to stay. To many commuters at the nation’s busiest crossing, their border already is secure even thriving by historical standards. and Mexico as the border meets the Pacific Ocean in San Diego. border with Mexico must be secured for millions in the country illegally to stay. To many commuters at the nation’s busiest crossing, their border already is secure even thriving by historical standards. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

In this Sept. 10, 2014 photo, Irma Ortiz applies makeup while waiting in line to cross into the United States from Tijuana, Mexico. Ortiz lives in Tijuana and works in San Diego, crossing the border almost daily. border with Mexico must be secured for millions in the country illegally to stay. To many commuters at the nation’s busiest crossing, their border already is secure even thriving by historical standards. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

In this June 7, 2001 handout file photo provided by Immigration and Naturalization Services, Enrique Aguilar Canchola, a 42 year old Mexican national, hides in the seat of a vehicle, that according to government officials, was being used to smuggle him into the United States from Mexico at the San Ysidro port of entry in San Diego. border with Mexico must be secured for millions in the country illegally to stay. To many commuters at the nation’s busiest crossing, their border already is secure even thriving by historical standards. (AP Photo/Immigration and Naturalization Services)

FILE In this Dec. 3, 2014 file photo, cars wait to enter the United States from Tijuana, Mexico through the San Ysidro port of entry in San Diego. Long lines disappeared overnight for tens of thousands of motorists who regularly enter the country at the nation’s busiest border crossing, after a $741 million makeover. To many Republican presidential contenders in Thursday, Aug. border with Mexico must be secured for millions in the country illegally to stay. To many commuters at the nation’s busiest crossing, their border already is secure even thriving by historical standards. at the nation’s busiest border crossing shows a silhouette of a man, woman and pigtailed girl running for their lives under the word “Caution.”

It was erected 25 years ago, when hordes of immigrants regularly stormed the border in “banzai runs” from Mexico, startling drivers along California’s Interstate 5.

The sign looks strangely out of place today. enforcement have dramatically reduced the illegal flow of immigrants across this stretch of border, while the legal movement of Mexicans and Americans back and forth across the international boundary for business or pleasure has been getting faster and more efficient.

On balance, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s portrait of a border out of control doesn’t square with what people see every day in San Diego and, on the Mexican side, Tijuana, which together make up the biggest metropolitan area along the 1,954 mile (3,126.4 kilometer) divide.

Serious problems persist. For one thing, San Diego’s San Ysidro border crossing has become a favored route for methamphetamine smugglers. Still, sneaking across this stretch of the border has become far more difficult, even for the most fit and fearless.

At the same time, an expanded San Ysidro crossing has slashed delays for Mexican visitors who legally work, shop and play in San Diego, while Tijuana’s flourishing restaurant and arts scene draws American foodies. A few miles away, construction crews are extending Tijuana’s airport across the border by building both a pedestrian bridge and a terminal in San Diego.

“It’s nothing like it used to be,” said Roman Real, a resident of central Mexico who returned to the Tijuana San Diego area last week after a 10 year absence to introduce his three children to San Diego tourist attractions.

Real waited just 10 minutes in a car to cross at San Ysidro the site of one of every 10 international arrivals in the United States. It was a dramatic improvement from the “catastrophe” he remembered.

“The border has its vices,” he said while waiting on a bench for his wife at a San Diego outlet mall that opened in 2001 near San Ysidro and counts Polo Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers and Armani among its stores. But “if you’re a tourist, things look good. Very normal.”

In the early 1990s, the barren mesas and shrub covered canyons that extend east of the Pacific Ocean were the most popular routes for immigrants entering the United States illegally. soil, waiting for nightfall to make a run past Border Patrol agents positioned a half mile back.

“We waited for them to come at us. You just tried to get in front of them and catch as many as you could,” said Dave Brown, who was a Border Patrol agent in San Diego for 30 years before retiring in 2006.

In San Diego, an 18 foot mesh fence extending 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean was completed in 2009, with razor wire topping about half of it. A treacherously winding dirt road traversing an area known as Smugglers Gulch was flattened out at a cost of $57 million, making it easier to patrol.

Arrests in the Border Patrol’s San Diego sector last year totaled 29,911 down about 95 percent from a peak of 565,581 in 1992.
best polo cologne Busy border crossing illustrates immigration worries

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