What does the border mean to me?
I am currently taking a course on transnational women’s organizing in the Americas. We have been learning about different organizations and the role women play when it comes to globalization, especially in the U.S. and Mexico. We have been specifically looking at maquiladora workers and the roles they play when confronting the issues they face socially, environmentally, and health wise. During lecture, my professor aske the question, “what does the border mean to you?”
Although invisible, the border always makes me feel a lot of different emotions, which are hard to describe and put into words. To know your own personal story tied to the border and what others experience in relation to that same border is also a struggle to understand.
It was not until this class that I got to understand the different meanings that the border has to different people. The border to me means family separation, but to Donald Trump it means the influx of “rapists and drug traffickers” and finding a solution for that. It means something different to a big time drug trafficker who’s money depends on that intersection, compared to a Zapatista where the border dislocates their homes with the flow of capital and corporations trying to get their hands on Mexican soil. We can’t forget what it means to our Central American sisters and brothers who not only deal with that border but with another one as well that makes the pain and struggle twice as hard compared to many of us.
The border is open to the crossing of capital and goods but it forgets it’s people. It forgets our stories and our experiences and it even leaves some of us trapped and in the shadows. Trapped in between the economic and social survival aside of cultural differences. These are things that are often left out of politician’s immigration reform laws. This is what’s left out when Trump spews his hate messages and suggests for Mexico to build their own wall across the border.
How do we get people such as Trump to understand our definition of the border and the missing pieces out of his definition?