A visit to "the most heartbreaking place in America."
International Friendship Park straddles the border where the U.S. and Mexico meet the Pacific Ocean. Until the early 1990's, the park was a place for families from both countries to meet face to face. [Google Maps]
Changing immigration policies led to construction of a massive fence through the middle of the park. It forces people on both sides to interact only through a thick mesh of metal.
To get to the park, families on the U.S. side are forced to make a treacherous walk more than three miles roundtrip. The U.S. Border Patrol says budget cuts forced it to scale back access to the park.
The fence keeps people from passing objects from one side to the other and makes it tough for people on either side to get a full view of their loved ones across the border.
A lone U.S. Border Patrol agent sits just a few feet from the fence and greets visitors as they enter from the U.S. side of the park.
The fence's tight metal mesh makes it difficult to see those on the other side.
An elderly man sits on the Mexican side of the park, staring through the fence to the United States.
Children and adults gather on the Mexican side of the fence hoping to connect with relatives on the U.S. side.
Small openings in the fence allow a partial view of the Mexican resort town Tijuana.
Beachgoers in Tijuana, Mexico play in the surf just a few feet from the border fence separating the U.S. and Mexico.