KTEP - El Paso, Texas

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

Sep 13, 2021

An upgraded new steel barrier in Sunland Park, New Mexico near El Paso is among security measures added along the southwest border in the 20 years after the September 11th attacks.
Credit Angela Kocherga / KTEP News

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.