Imaginary Borders

If you ask any number of people in the United States about how they feel with border control, you’d find some think the border isn’t enforced, others think it is too enforced, and more who think the border is just an imaginary line that doesn’t matter. But the reality, like so often, is a mix of the three. It all comes down to the context for the border.

Anytime there is a threat on security, like a bombing around the New York area, or a flight crashes, the borders lock up to where it becomes almost impossible to actually cross them for a few days, especially when it is a bridge that connects between the two borders. Otherwise the specific area of the border you are trying to cross at will determine how enforced that border is. Some borders are so ‘thick’ that you will get a strip search when trying to cross it, even if you have a passport when crossing the US/Canadian border. Others are so ‘thin’ that you can walk across with some patio furniture on your back and a couple of warrants, like some of the Mexico/US border.

But the most unique are the borders that really do just serve as an imaginary line. This is seen in many Euro-Asian areas and even a few countries in South America. The border serves maps more than the actual populations. Instead you see clumps of people of a few cultures around the borders, but generally only with borders that have more habitable areas.

For all the times you or someone you know has been stopped at one of the surrounding American borders and you have to wait a few hours for the patrol guards to search everything you have, you can imagine how much more difficult it can be for trucks that are shipping anything across these borders. Things are scrutinized more, and it is almost guaranteed to be some time before you get away from the border.

In fact, you could say the borders between US states, and the land borders and air ports are quite strict when it comes to shipping things. There’s a reason many companies, including Amazon state that you are likely to see your product in 5-8 business days, because it takes time to get through all these ‘thick’ borders, whether that border is considered imaginary or not.

This is why most people don’t even notice that airports are just as much a border, which is why they often tell you to come an hour or two early before your flight to make sure you can get through the same thing that you would get if you were using a land bridge to cross.

So next time you are passing through a border or airport, even if you don’t have a toll to deal with, like many US State to State crossings, just remember to be calm because security is just doing their job, even if they got something wrong. It will save you a lot of hassle in the end. But if you have one of those ‘imaginary borders’ then enjoy the mingling of people between that border.