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September 11th attack led to unprecedented border security buildup, changes in daily life

Border fence at sunset
Angela Kocherga

A lot has changed along the border since September 11, 2001. The attack led to the creation of the massive, cabinet-level, Department of Homeland Security and disruptions in daily life for those who cross back and forth. An estimated $330 billion has been spent ramping up border security including doubling the size of the Border Patrol, now the largest law enforcement agency in the country. There's also more technology for U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry who screen people and cargo entering the United States.  Additionally, drones, Black Hawk helicopters and a network of surveillance cameras help CBP keep an eye on the border. But twenty years later a question persists: are we safer? KTEP’s Angela Kocherga reports. 

This story is a collaboration between KTEP public radio and The Dallas Morning News where you can read an expanded version of the story and see photos.

KTEP News Director and reporter Angela Kocherga and Alfredo Corchado, Mexico border bureau chief for The Dallas Morning News have a conversation about covering the changing southwest border before and after the September 11th attack 20 years ago.