This page will tell you about how the border came to be and also about the current problems on the border.

History of the US Mexico Border

Before this land belonged to the United States and Mexico, some of it belonged to Spain. But before it belonged to Spain, all of it belonged to the Native Americans. Then Spain came and took over the Native Americans and their land. At one time, Spain colonized most of South America, Central America, Mexico and about half of the United States, including states like Florida, California, Texas, and Arizona.

external image map-of-spain2.jpg

The Natives trusted the Spaniards and then Spain took there gold and land. They forced them to be Christian and made them talk Spanish. Some Native Americans resisted, but they made them do it anyway. The Spaniards built Missions. The Missions were churches. They were places where the Spanish made the Natives work for them. Some did not want to go, so they hid from the Spanish because they thought that they would harm them. Spain, a little country, sure made a lot of trouble.

A Mission
A Mission

In the late 1700's, the Criollos (Spanish people born in the new world) started wanting to be independent from Spain. One morning, Father Hidalgo gave the "grito de Dolores." He said that war was coming to Mexico. Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821.

At this point, the area that now is the US/Mexico border all belonged to Mexico. However, war was coming to Mexico again. In 1835-1836, Americans were moving to Texas. The Mexican government was trying to stop the Americans from coming into Texas, so the Americans rebelled. Texas became its own country for a little while, from 1836-1845.

But there was going to be more war between the US and Mexico. US President James Polk wanted to expand America and buy California and New Mexico from Mexico. He also wanted Mexico to make the Rio Grande river the border between the two countries, which would make Texas part of the US. Mexicans were furious, especially because they still thought Texas belonged to them. President Polk sent a troop to the Rio Grande. Mexico attacked because they thought that sending the troops was an act of war. Then they US declared war. The U.S made Mexico sign a treaty and sell the land that the Americans wanted: California, Nevada, Arizona, and other states in the South of the US.

President James Polk
President James Polk


This is why the border between Mexico and the US is where it is. But if the land was Mexico's land and they sold it to the Americans, why aren't the Americans grateful? Why don't they let the Mexicans across? And if all the land originally belonged to the Native Americans, why aren't they treated well? Why is the border not letting them be free?

Current Problems on the US Mexico Border

These are the situations on the border we need to fix:

* Innocent Mexican (or other Latin American) immigrants are dying on the border because the US government doesn't want to let them in.
* The Native American tribes are divided by the border, and because of this, they don't have as much political power as they could, and the Native Americans in the US can't help their people on the other side.
* Also, drug dealers, who trade drugs across the border, are committing crimes on the Native Americans' land.


if you want to know more about the history of the border, go to: http://www.pbs.org/kpbs/theborder/history/index.html

people who died crossing the border
people who died crossing the border