As you know, we do not have anything resembling a secure border policy in this country. The current administration gave great lip service to getting serious about knowing who comes in and out of America after 9/11 but more than six years on (six years!) it is just as easy today to walk from Mexico into Texas as it was in 2001.
Blog readers living along the southern U.S. border states will no doubt recognize the sign to the left. The Los Angeles Times recently ran a fascinating article about the artist behind this iconic 'running immigrant' sign.
Here are a few tidbits from the paper's profile of John Hood, the California Department of Transportation graphic artist who designed it.
1) Hood is now 59 years old, close to retirement and has worked for Caltrans for 27 years.
2) His most famous sign went up in 1990, after more than a hundred immigrants were killed on Interstate 5 trying to cross over.
3) In one earlier version of the sign "the characters had eyes and other features; officials felt those would be too detailed for motorists to discern at high speed. In another, the mother juggled a baby and a sweater, but that too was deemed overly complicated for the freeway."
4) "Comic Carlos Mencia 'whose family immigrated to East L.A. from Honduras when he was an infant -- filmed a segment based on the sign. 'Maybe,' Mencia says at one point in the segment, 'it's telling them: Run across the freeway. Just do it really fast.'"
5) "A photograph of the sign is hanging at the National Museum of American History, part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington," where it is described as "without a doubt, an icon of the current immigration debate. It's taken on meaning that was never intended."
To read the whole article, click here and thanks to blog reader Chris for the suggestion.