THE BLOG

What You Don't Know About the U.S./Mexico Border Fence

09/21/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

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Putting a big fence between Mexico and the southern border of the United States to stop illegal immigration (and ideally put a dent in terrorist movements) makes sense to a lot of people -- and a lot of politicians. Both Obama and McCain voted for the Secure Fence Act back in 2006.

But there's the idea of an infallible border to keep out the bad guys and let in the good guys...and then there's reality.

Turns out the fence -- which will cover less than half of the actual border -- inexplicably cuts through the middle of some properties, while leaving others untouched. Many question if it can keep people from sneaking in at all.

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There are also questions as to whether certain landowners are getting preferential treatment, and how the billions being given to private contractors, such as Boeing, are being spent.

NOW on PBS just investigated this issue. In the report, Senior Correspondent Maria Hinojosa traveled to Texas to meet some very upset American landowners, some of whom found out their property will fall on the Mexico side of the fence!

Is the border fence the ultimate solution or an utter waste?

Joel Schwartzberg is Director of New Media, NOW on PBS