As I wrote on Monday, my wife and I recently spent a few days at Big Bend National Park in west Texas. The park is strikingly beautiful with vast desert vistas pierced by mountains born in the area’s ancient and violent volcanic past. Big Bend is huge and — because it is relatively remote — not very crowded.
One feature of the park that made a big impression on me is its southern border: the Rio Grande River, which also separates the park from Mexico. The river winds its way through both canyons and areas that are relatively wide open. And in many places in the park, it is very easy to wade to the Mexican side. In the picture above, I am on the American side looking at rocks, but the flow of water right in front of me is only about seven or eight feet wide. It would have been nothing to cross over to the Mexican side (something I didn’t do).
The debate over immigration reform has been vexing and robust — as befits any topic with multiple dimensions and competing equities. But there’s nothing theoretical about a narrow stream of water. It just flows by you. Very simply. Hardly making a sound at all.