Story

Flying Over the Line

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A man later identified as a 24-year-old citizen of India attempts to illegally enter the United States near San Diego. He was apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol on Jan. 19. Image by Tomas van Houtryve. United States, 2018.

A man later identified as a 24-year-old citizen of India attempts to illegally enter the United States near San Diego. He was apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol on Jan. 19. Image by Tomas van Houtryve. United States, 2018.

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An individual wearing a cowboy hat walks near a railway gate along the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Sonora and Arizona. Image by Tomas van Houtryve. United States, 2018.

An individual wearing a cowboy hat walks near a railway gate along the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Sonora and Arizona. Image by Tomas van Houtryve. United States, 2018.

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Lanes of cars line up along the U.S.-Mexico border at the port of entry at San Ysidro, California and Tijuana, Baja California. The port is the largest land border crossing point in the world. Image by Tomas van Houtryve. United States, 2018.

Lanes of cars line up along the U.S.-Mexico border at the port of entry at San Ysidro, California and Tijuana, Baja California. The port is the largest land border crossing point in the world. Image by Tomas van Houtryve. United States, 2018.

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Eight prototypes of 30-foot-tall wall segments, requested by President Donald Trump, are seen along the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego, California and Tijuana, Baja California. Image by Tomas van Houtryve. United States, 2018.

Eight prototypes of 30-foot-tall wall segments, requested by President Donald Trump, are seen along the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego, California and Tijuana, Baja California. Image by Tomas van Houtryve. United States, 2018.

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Shadows cast by sensors and cameras at the port of entry on the U.S.-Mexico border in San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora and Arizona. Image by Tomas van Houtryve—VII. United States, 2018.

Shadows cast by sensors and cameras at the port of entry on the U.S.-Mexico border in San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora and Arizona. Image by Tomas van Houtryve—VII. United States, 2018.

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Street art and graffiti are seen near the fence along the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Sonora and Arizona. Image by Tomas van Houtryve—VII. United States, 2018.

Street art and graffiti are seen near the fence along the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Sonora and Arizona. Image by Tomas van Houtryve—VII. United States, 2018.

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A resident sprays water on the road in front of her home to keep dust down along the fence of the U.S.-Mexico border in San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora. Image by Tomas van Houtryve—VII. United States, 2018.

A resident sprays water on the road in front of her home to keep dust down along the fence of the U.S.-Mexico border in San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora. Image by Tomas van Houtryve—VII. United States, 2018.

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A wave is split by fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border at Tijuana, Baja California and Imperial Beach, California. Image by Tomas van Houtryve—VII. United States, 2018.

A wave is split by fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border at Tijuana, Baja California and Imperial Beach, California. Image by Tomas van Houtryve—VII. United States, 2018.

President Trump’s wall has yet to become reality. In the meantime, today’s border is increasingly technological, a mixture of walls, fences and devices both seen and unseen to dissuade would-be crossers. Cameras, both on the ground and in the sky on drones, are at the heart of it all. That’s what caught the attention of Belgian photojournalist Tomas van Houtryve, who has been photographing the border from above with a drone of his own.

Read the full text by Alex Fitzpatrick here: http://time.com/longform/over-the-line/