When officials of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service decided to build two new stretches of wall, totaling 12.5 miles, along the 1,950-mile Mexican border, they thought they were merely mending fences, not wrecking U.S.-Mexican relations. After all, the reason an estimated 1 million Mexicans enter the U.S. illegally each year is that most existing fences have been knocked down, shot full of holes or simply hauled away. Indeed, the new barriers might have gone up unnoticed had not the builders boasted that "anyone barefoot" seeking to climb over the razor-sharp wall...

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