How did this lesson and the readings change the way that you think about borders, if at all? Drawing especially on the readings, what are some the effects of borders on the people who live near them or cross them?
Students will a) respond to the discussion prompt with one original response (250-350 words) and b) also respond to at least one original post from another student in a substantive manner (100-150 words). By substantive, I mean more than “I agree” or “that’s interesting.” I want you to elaborate: what do you agree with, and why? What specifically is interesting, and why do you think that?
I just posted the answer. lets reply to this friends peer response:
At the very beginning of De Leon’s article ‘Undocumented migration, use wear, and the materiality of habitual suffering in the Sonoran Desert’ I was a little startled by all that people go through just to come to America. The physically pain the people suffered as De Leon said they had blisters on their feet, large gashes, and the children would have cuts and scrapes from cactus because they were running from border patrol. You have to think to yourself, why would anyone want to go through such agony, only to still be treated unfair later? The thing is that if you want it bad enough, you will risk your life for a better one. Even if that means getting stopped, thrown into jail, or hurt. It appears the biggest down side to crossing the border is losing family members along the way such as due to a dessert storm.
A quote I found interesting from Heide Castaneda, page 169 “under the slogan Deporting Felons Not Families, there was a pronounced shift in focus from removing ordinary status violators apprehended in the interior of the United States to removing criminals and recent border crossers”. So they are okay with removing anyone who has recently committed a crime such as felons, but will not remove any families. To me that seems fair only because, America has high incarcerated rates already, and there have even been times where they will let some who are incarcerated go because they are over packed. I have seen many videos where the people who are caught from the border are placed in cages as if they were animals. Building a wall does not solve anything which is exactly what Donald Trump wanted to do. When you take a deeper look at what people go through just to enter the United States, it is horrific, and you have to give them such huge credit for trying and not giving up. Reading the articles makes me respect those that have crossed the border so much more as I have read about what it is really like.
Another fact I found interesting as I read Heide Castaneda’s book was the very beginning of the introduction. A woman had a baby at a Texas hospital, and she could not get the baby’s birth certificate because her mother was not a legal citizen. The father however, was a legal US citizen, but that almost was not enough. The ladies daughter could not go to head start school since she had yet to acquire the birth certificate, and this made life hard for a while. There are so many steps they have to go through to obtain legal documents, that for the most part are needed for a lot of things such as yes enrolling in school, applying for a job, or needing government assistance. How is one to really obtain the documents needed if the state will not provide the assistance? The process is too convoluted, not to mention stressful on the individuals end. To some it may be easier to just give up and go back, but to others, the US is their home now and there is no other place to go as they cant go back. Going back could mean death, could mean starvation, or even homelessness. Something that a lot of already ‘privileged’ Americans do not have to experience. The articles are not to knock anyone who was already born here because really this applies to everyone, not just those fleeing Mexico. The articles are to make us aware of the disasters that go on out there at the borders, and to even make us thankful and cherish those that made it.