It turns out that 1.5 miles of a seven-year-old border fence between the U.S. and Mexico was accidentally built between one and six feet into Mexican territory. Mexico wants it moved as soon as possible, which could cost the U.S. more than $3 million.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman said the vertical metal tubes were sunk into the ground and filled with cement along what officials firmly believed was the border. But a routine aerial survey in March revealed that the barrier protrudes into Mexico by 1 to 6 feet.
James Johnson, whose onion farm is in the disputed area, said he thinks his forefathers may have started the confusion in the 19th century by placing a barbed-wire fence south of the border. No one discovered their error, and crews erecting the barrier may have used that fence as a guideline.
“It was a mistake made in the 1800s,” Johnson said. “It is very difficult to make a straight line between two points in rugged and mountainous areas that are about two miles apart.”