Goodbye Border; Hello Borderlands


by John Heid

“The actual physical borderland…is the Texas – U.S. Southwest / Mexican border.  The psychological borderlands, the sexual borderlands and the spiritual borderlands are not particular to the Southwest.  In fact, the Borderlands are physically present wherever two or more cultures edge each other, where people of different races occupy the same territory, where lower, middle and upper classes touch, where the space between two individuals shrinks with intimacy.”
– Gloria Anzaldua, Preface to the First Edition, Borderlands/La Frontera

We left the border this afternoon.  The footprints we made from the Arizona desert to the Rio Grande Valley have left a palpable impression on my spirit, even as the pull towards Capitol Hill gains momentum.

Behind us the migrant death toll climbs, as a body a day is recovered from the Sonoran desert.  In Texas, the Department of Homeland Security announced plans to expand Raymondville – the largest immigrant detention camp in the country – by 1,000 bunks.   

Ahead await the internal borderlands – migrant communities, labor camps, poultry farms, more detention centers.  These are the borderlands that cris-cross the U.S. like the arteries and veins of one large integrated human body, “where the space between individuals shrinks with intimacy.” (Anzaldua)

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