The signs at the entrance of Glenn Spencer’s 100 acre property—where I arrive after traveling on a labrynth of dirt roads—begin to tell the American Border Patrol story. The first one reads: “If you don’t live here, you don’t belong here, get out.” I pause briefly and then continue. The next sign says: “Respect the Flag, You MoFo.” “OK,” I think. “I am going the right way.” At the time I don’t notice the cameras, nor the fact that I am driving through a corridor of an elaborate sensor system, as Spencer will tell me later.
That’s when I see the sign I am waiting for: “American Border Patrol: America’s Eyes on the Border. (Drug smugglers/addicts don’t like us.)”
I drive up a steep hill to a couple of buildings, one of them labeled “Border Technology Inc.,” my destination. A group of dogs eye me warily. No one’s around and I don’t know where I’m supposed to go. I drive into a gravel lot with a few scattered vehicles, park, and step out of the car. The dogs are not happy with my presence. One in particular, with floppy ears, begins to growl.
I quickly hear the motorized whine of vehicles moving at a high speed to my right. Two all-terrain vehicles are speeding down the dirt road toward me, in single file. Their entrance is so dramatic that I don’t know what to do. One of the vehicles comes skidding to a stop in the middle of the gravel lot, kicking up small stones, 10 feet away.