"Nobody likes the wall," says Tony Martinez, mayor of Brownsville, a city in the southeastern corner of Texas across the Rio Grande from Matamoros, Mexico. He's the son of Mexican immigrants and a Democrat, but he's not exaggerating: Even Donald Trump supporters in the town hate the border fence that has been here since 2008.
"Build that wall, build that wall!" I have heard people chant at Trump rallies in the small towns of Iowa and New Hampshire, far from the Mexican border. Trump promises to build a wall that will be "impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful."
The fence in Brownsville is 18 feet tall and made from rusty iron bars. I could climb it in about 15 seconds. "Our record is eight," says Michael Seifert, an organizer for the Equal Voice Network, a coalition of civic groups in the Rio Grande Valley.
It has cost more than $6 million per mile to build, and it runs through farmers' fields and townspeople's backyards. The local consensus is that it hasn't helped anyone except contractors and drug cartels.