Creature from the Blog Lagoon 7: Bargaining with the Border Patrol

Back in November of 2019 I began working on a self-assigned story about church services being held simultaneously in San Diego and Tijuana - a few feet apart and divided by a wall of steel. (My work on the story, by the way, has been rudely interrupted by a pandemic.)

The location is unusual. On the north lies Border Field State Park where the wall juts into the ocean. A small area called Friendship Park is situated on a bluff overlooking the beach. (Its counterpart on the other side of the wall is Parque de la Amistad.) On the American side there’s a secondary border wall a few dozen yards to the north. It and the primary wall form a no-man’s land, closely monitored by the always-present Border Patrol. A maximum of 10 visitors are allowed in the exclusion zone at any one time, and photography here is generally not permitted. (This actually depends on which agent is supervising; some are more lenient than others.)

I showed up for the church service, and as you can imagine I wasn’t allowed to enter with my camera equipment. After some haggling with the supervising Border Patrol agent, I was given the green light to use my iPhone 7. Fortunately I have the Halide camera app installed; it lets me shoot RAW format and it gives me a lot of manual options.

Thanks to my trusty phone, I got the photos.

Sometimes you have to haggle with “the man.”

Note: The preview images you see above don’t do justice to the quality of the phone’s camera.

God’s House, Divided

Using Format