Good Times with the Right-Wing Defenders of America's Southern Border

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 4 2013 1:27 AM

Good Times with the Right-Wing Defenders of America's Southern Border

PHOENIX—I've got a piece in the throes of editing right now, mostly about a trip I took to the border in the company of right-wingers. American Border Patrol let me crash at their guest lodging, the Coronado House, and take a little tour of the border.

photo (17)

Glenn Spencer, founder of the group—denounced for the better part of two decades by the Southern Poverty Law Center—took me around the premises and showed off the border-watching technology he's been developing. Here he plays back audio intercepted from U.S. Border Control, which he uses to map overnight crossings.

photo (18)

The 104-acre ABP property is situated right in front of a long stretch of 18-foot border fence. Walk up to it and you can see the remnants of the old, porous fence, and the monuments commemorating the first usage of the land.

photo (19)

Down a ways from the 18-foot fence is a "Normandy fence," only about five feet high. This cow is wandering between the American zone (60 feet beyond the fence) and Mexico. Nobody seems to mind.

photo (20)

ABP receives miniature American flags and messages from donors, and collects them into signs they build and plant right in front of the fence. This collection spells out the word "secure."

photo (21)

And this is the new, frustrating 3-D printer the group is using to build components for the small drones that they want to use to watch the border. They've been putting up un-manned vehicles for years; the new new thing is a cyclocopter.

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics


Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

  News & Politics
Over There
Sept. 23 2014 12:16 PM Another Intervention?    Anti-ISIS airstrikes aren’t about keeping Americans safe.  
Business Insider
Sept. 23 2014 10:03 AM Watch Steve Jobs Tell Michael Dell, "We're Coming After You"
The Eye
Sept. 23 2014 11:33 AM High-Concept Stuff Designed to Remind People That They Don’t Need Stuff  
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 11:13 AM Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 11:48 AM Punky Brewster, the Feminist Punk Icon That Wasn’t
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 10:51 AM Is Apple Picking a Fight With the U.S. Government? Not exactly.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 23 2014 11:00 AM Google Exec: Climate Change Deniers Are “Just Literally Lying”
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.