The Mexican-United States border is a many splendored thing. It brims with an intriguing potpourri of activities blending the legal and the proscribed, the significant and the trivial, the conventional and the bizarre. In one incarnation, the border delights hundreds from about the country by facilitating the sight of a Flame-Colored Tanager, fairly common in Mexico but demanding a "North American Rare Bird Alert" as it crosses the line. At the other end of the spectrum, the border context conjures horror, compassion, and outrage at instances of unscrupulous coyotes and vicious gangs robbing and raping the innocent poor as they cross the border in search of economic sustenance or political refuge. In hundreds of other cases, the border locus defines a series of events, issues, and controversies significant for Mexico and for Mexican-United States relations. From a sociocultural perspective, for example, the border melting pot produces a special breed of Mexican and a rare species of American, enriching their respective countries but also connoting problems in the eyes of some of their compatriots. From the less exotic perspective of the dismal science, the border encourages the economic advantages of the maquiladora program, implying employment for Mexicans, scarce foreign exchange for Mexico, and a competitive edge for American-owned business. From the viewpoint of politics, the border locus 212influences a continuum of activity ranging from a tradition of anti-Washington sentiments north of the line to increasingly militant opposition in Mexico.