National Geographic Society

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Going Underground

Photo: A snowy view of the border

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Tight security at urban border crossings pushes would-be illegal immigrants and smugglers to extremes, so they traverse the remote and rugged canyons of the Peloncillo Mountains in the hopes of avoiding detection. An agent on board a helicopter helps ground agents scour the vast landscape for footprints and signs of these crossers. But any footprints they find appear and disappear, frustrating the agents' search.