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At 9.32am on July 5 2005, the US Senate committee on foreign relations, meeting in Room SD-419 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, heard an intriguing story about SA.

Just five of the 18 members of the prestigious committee were present that day. The meeting had been called to discuss the threat of terrorist penetration of the US through the border with Mexico. In 2004 alone, 1.1-million people had been arrested trying to cross the 3,200km border. A million of them were Mexicans seeking a better life; the rest were what the department of homeland security referred to as "OTMs — other than Mexicans"...

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