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Despite their best efforts, the U.S. and Mexican governments are successful in seizing only 3 to 5 percent of the billions made annually by drug cartel operations that do business in both countries, said the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. Read more»

With little knowledge of the history of slavery in the region, Afro-Mexican culture slips away. Read more»

The U.S.-Mexico border in San Luis, Ariz., in 2008.

A government report finds the U.S. has been too slow to aid Mexico and other crime-ridden countries at a time when drug-related violence is escalating. Efforts to combat alien smuggling have also fallen short, but Arizona earns praise for dismantling smuggling operations. Read more»

Scene from the Laredo port of entry.

Illicit drugs, human trafficking, illegal immigration, terrorism and, yes, strep throat and H1N1: Customs and Border Protection officers are on the lookout for far more than criminals and contraband. They're responsible for stopping infectious disease at the border. Read more»

Tony Hefner, author of 'Between the Fences'

The author and former security guard at the Port Isabel detention center for illegal immigrants talks about the torture, sexual abuse and drug smuggling he says he witnessed there. Read more»

Under a thick layer of dust in a Bogota warehouse lie goods confiscated from drug traffickers that range from fine art to just plain crap, from elephant tusks to dented bicycles. Read more»

Over the past four years, the U.S. Border Patrol has grown by two-thirds, from 12,000 to 20,000 agents. Some rural border residents resent the intrusion into their lives. Read more»

Not only has the Department of Homeland Security referred more immigration-related cases for prosecution under President Obama than under his predecessor, it has also removed more aliens than the Bush Administration did, even in its busiest years. Read more»

Dinosaur statues at Hacienda Napoles, 2007.

When he wasn't smuggling cocaine or ordering hit men to gun down his enemies, Pablo Escobar liked to relax at his 7,000-acre ranch, Hacienda Napoles, a personal playground and petting zoo. Now it's a tourist attraction. Read more»

A Border Patrol checkpoint on Hwy. 118, south of Alpine, Tex.

When Linda Walker drives north on Highway 118 from her West Texas home in Terlingua toward Alpine, she spots the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint ahead and thinks to herself, "Do I have time today?" Does she have time, she asks, to get "belligerent" with the agents, in their now ubiquitous green fatigues, who will inevitably ask about her citizenship? And that's not all. Read more»

The border fence near Sasabe, 2009.

Anyone who tells you the solution to illegal migration is more border enforcement is either a darn fool or a damned liar. In this election season, politicians are seemingly apoplectic about illegal immigration. People from south of us don’t come here for our way of life or to plop out progeny. They come here for the cash. Read more»

Emotions are running high over the question of how, or whether, Arizona should defend itself against illegal immigration. Heroes, however, are thin on the ground. Read more»

Border activists are hurling a last-minute plea at Congress to rethink deployment of additional National Guard troops to the region. Two hundred fifty soldiers are scheduled to arrive on the Texas-Mexico border Sunday. Read more»

The Obama administration, anticipating that Congress might not pass comprehensive immigration reform this year, is considering ways it could act without congressional approval to achieve many of the objectives of the initiative, including giving permanent resident status, or green cards, to large numbers of people in the country illegally. Read more»

Immigration and Customs Enforcement referred 4,145 cases for prosecution in March and April, the highest number since 2005, when the agency was created. Read more»

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