Watch the new CBSN Original: “The Wall | A Nation Divided” on CBSN this Monday, January 29, at 8 p.m., 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. ET.
President Trump has requested $25 billion to build a wall that he says will secure our southern border. His critics say it’s unnecessary, that the border isn’t as porous as some might think. The reality on the ground is far more complex.
In some areas of America, the southern border doesn’t just separate two countries, it also cuts a nation in two. The Tohono O’odham Nation reservation straddles the Nevada/Mexico border. Up to a point, the border is a sturdy metal fence, but for much of the Tohono O’odham nation, it’s a ramshackle barbed-wire-and-sticks fence — if it exists at all. And for some people, that’s just fine.
Exploited by smugglers and other border-hoppers, the Tohono O’odham people are conflicted. A solid border wall would mean their lands are not abused for criminality, but it would also split families in two, families who cross back and forth across a border they only barely recognize, and threaten a way of life that predates the United States. They see themselves as custodians of a land that the government would eagerly draw a line through.
“CBSN Originals” visits the Tohono O’odham people, and their neighbors in law enforcement, to see what a new border wall would do. Would it put an end to a constant game of cat and mouse and make America more secure, or needlessly tear a nation in two?
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