Border Patrol agents we spoke to aren’t sure how a border wall will change the dynamics between law enforcement and people trying to evade them. But drug tunnels, patches to the border fence and rings of concertina wire serve as reminders that for every measure taken to fortify the border, there have always been countermeasure to get around them.

San Ysidro’s demographics and its location on the border contribute to a unique set of housing woes. “I can’t get my green card without an address, I can’t work without a green card and I can’t afford an apartment without work,” said one resident whose struggle is familiar to many community members.

Both Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastélum and San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer have made public statements on the importance of strong ties between our cities and nations. But neither has taken a strong stance against the actual policies causing the economy and security of both cities to crack and fray.