Mexico: The Torrent vs. The Flood

The Torrent vs. The Flood

Although its name is Spanish for "Big River," the Rio Grande is often more like a stream as it winds for 1,248 miles along the Texas-Mexico border. Each month thousands of Mexicans slip into the U.S. simply by wading across the river, often without getting their knees wet.

Now, however, heavy rains and melting snow have turned the Rio Grande into a treacherous torrent with crests of 8 ft. in some normally shallow areas, slowing the flood of illegal immigrants. While U.S. Border Patrol officers in the El Paso sector normally nab some 600 river crossers a day in December, the...

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