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The United States only borders two countries. The country that borders the United States to the north is Canada. The United States’ 5525 -mile (8891 kilometers) long border with Canada is the longest land border in the world.
The country that borders the United States to the south is Mexico. This 1,954-mile (3145 kilometers) long border separates two of the most socioeconomically linked countries in the world.
The US and Mexico do a lot of business together. The United States buys more from Mexico than any other country, Mexico buys more from the United States than any other country, and Mexico sells to more to the United States than any other country. Also, there are 37 million US residents with Mexican ancestry. That means there are more Mexicans living in the US than there are Canadians living in Canada.
The border between Mexico and the United States is crossed more than any other border in the world. There are 50 spots where you can legally cross the border by land. The smallest of these legal border crossings is the Boquillas Port of Entry. This location processes 11 thousand trips per year remotely using video inspection kiosks. The largest, the San Ysidro Port of Entry, processes 11 million pedestrians and 26 million cars per year. This makes the San Ysidro Port of Entry the busiest land-border checkpoint in the western hemisphere. The San Ysidro Port of Entry is part of the primary route between San Diego and Tijuana, 2 cities in which many people commute between on a daily basis.
Hundreds of thousands to millions of people illegally enter the united states each year. The vast majority of illegal border crossings are unsuccessful. An estimated 55% to 85% of illegal crossers get caught.
Why come to the United States?
There is an enormous economic disparity between the United States and Mexico. In the United States, the average income is $65,000 per year. In Mexico, the average income is $9,500 per year. Also, The United States has greater social mobility than Mexico. This means that it is easier to move up the social latter in the United States than it is in Mexico. In the United States, its easier to be born poor and end up rich. By contrast, in Mexico, if you are born poor, you typically die poor. The United States has a social mobility rating of 70.4 compared to Mexico’s rating of 52.6. The pursuit of money and the escape from poverty are the strongest reasons to immigrate. Some other reasons why someone might want to come to the United States is to reunify with family or to escape violence.
Why not do it legally?
For some people, there is no legitimate route to legal status in the United States, and for others, there is no practical way. Many forms of American immigrant Visas have annual caps that are not proportional to immigration demand for a given country. For example, a married Mexican citizen who is the child of an American citizen would have to wait 24 years to have their visa processed. The current backlog means that in 20202, immigration offices are just now looking at applications submitted in 1996.
Should I cross illegally?
Probably not. But your choices are few. You can either wait 25% of a lifetime or take the faster, riskier option, which is to cross illegally. 95% of first-time-crossers higher a smuggler.
How much does a typical smuggler charge?
A smuggler costs about $3,500 per person, which is about 4 months’ worth of wages for the average Mexican.
What is included in the smuggling fee?
For this fee, a smuggler will typically
- Put you in a group
- Take your group to the border
- Instruct your group on how to cross
- Arrange transportation on the other side
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