The Walls of a Nation

by B.J. Delas Armas on 1/25/2008 04:30:00 AM 0 comments Print this post

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"Borders everywhere attract violence, violence prompts fences, and eventually fences can mutate into walls. Then everyone pays attention because a wall turns a legal distinction into a visual slap in the face. We seem to love walls, but are embarrassed by them because they say something unpleasant about the neighbors—and us. They flow from two sources: fear and the desire for control."


"The boundary between Mexico and the United States has always been zealously insisted upon by both countries.

But initially Mexicans moved north at will. The U.S. patrols of the border that began in 1904 were mainly to keep out illegal Asian immigrants. Almost 900,000 Mexicans legally entered the United States to flee the violence of the revolution. Low population in both nations and the need for labor in the American Southwest made this migration a non-event for decades. The flow of illegal immigrants exploded after the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement in the early 1990s, a pact that was supposed to end illegal immigration but wound up dislocating millions of Mexican peasant farmers and many small-industrial workers.

The result: Naco was overrun by immigrants on their way north. At night, dozens, sometimes hundreds, of immigrants would crowd into motel rooms and storage rental sheds along the highway. The local desert was stomped into a powder of dust. Naco residents found their homes broken into by desperate migrants. Then came the wall in 1996, and the flow of people spread into the high desert outside the town."

I don't like at all what "Nat Geo" has done in yesteryears or what it currently does on TV (with the exception of a certain Dog Whisperer), but I can agree with most of what is written in this particular article.

They view immigration from a "human history viewpoint", which in this case means that they are likely to see the artificiality (read, bullshittiness) of "laws" created by a bunch of people to keep other people out.

What strikes me in the picture above is that fish and other marine life, don't really give that much of a shit about the man-made border and will probably weave in and around it. We won't make any attempt soon (not that I know of!) to restrict their movements, just that of other humans who happened to not have been born here (which obviously makes them different from us).

Amazing how we deal with members of our own species.

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