So. The border. Its a complicated place, really. When I first drove up the Land Port of Guadalupe, which is the official name of the gated highway that connects the U.S. and Mexico in the middle of a cotton field in Tornillo, TX., I was confused. The one thing that came to my mind is Gertrude Stein's "There's no there, there". It really felt like the middle of no where. I had to drive up to it three times before I really believed it was where these tent camps for children were built. Of course this makes sense if you think about it. You really couldn't see anything. Which was a weird feeling to have flown all the way to the border of Texas and Mexico from Boston and to not really see anything. Its anti-climactic and I felt kind of foolish and sort of gross for wanting to 'see it'. I know its there, and honestly didn't come for proof. I'm looking for a bigger or maybe a smaller story about the people around here. Finally, we drove along side of the main highway (much more about the highway to come) on to a dirt road where there seemed to be workers putting up black plastic. This really was the place as a few tents seemed to poke out. It was still weird but a weird that felt chilling in the 107 degree heat. How could children really be kept here? It was so hot.
I lived in San Diego for eight years so this is not my first border-- some things are the same. A rusted fence. More authorities. More cars with official insignia. Nonchalance combined with a whiff of violence. The knowledge that I'm being watched no matter how much I seem to be ignored. The border is a place where forgotten populations are made visible to the eyes of nations as numbers and resources and documents.