Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Texas/Mexico Border

I found today that we were faced with an interesting issue, illegal immigration. We were driving from Houston to Santa Fe, this takes us along I-10 which cuts along the south of Texas through El Paso. It actually takes you right along the border of Mexico. Tempting though it is to have made this a Nafta trip we thought better of it given the current state of drug wars that are occurring in Juarez at the moment. We heard from Jacob’s cousin Matt, who is in the air force, that the US military have been banned from going to Juarez. So we used my father’s words of wisdom, which always ring in my head anytime I travel “It is looks like a bad idea, if it sounds like a bad idea, it’s probably a bad idea.”

What was fascinating as we drove this stretch of highway is that the police are out and about looking for any illegal immigrants who are trying to cross the border. As we drove through El Paso it is obvious this is a border town, you can see trucks and men’s clubs littering the city. Through the fence you can see Mexico and it’s dilapidated homes. As we drove out of El Paso there were four policeman surrounding one man, who we assume is being arrested for crossing the border illegally. Now why 4 cop cars is needed for one man, I’m not sure, but it certainly made us think, how far do you need to get into the states to be considered safe. In the North we have come in contact with illegal immigrants who are trying to make a better life, they clean homes, stand ready for work at day laborer locations and their children attend our schools. So how far north do you need to travel to stop being hunted??

The final interesting part of our immigrant lesson was that as we drove up I-25 toward Albuquerque, New Mexico we actually had to go through a border inspection, despite the fact we had not actually left the country, we still had to go through border patrol. They actually have every vehicle come through the inspection and check that everyone in the vehicle is an American citizen. Now I don’t know what happens if you aren’t all American citizens. They did not even check our licenses which I think had more to do with our blonde hair than anything else. It is really amazing that in this rugged part of the country there still remains a rugged life and people continuing to seek a better life and find their frontier.

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