Living in Tucson Arizona the impacts of immigration and border militarization are a part of daily life. Over the years friends have been deported, neighboring families have been torn apart and my white privilege is the only thing that keeps me from being harassed by border patrol agents on a regular basis. However for the rest of the country these everyday scenes are hidden from view and the ‘immigration issue’ becomes obscured in rhetoric and hyperbole. However I’ve recently seen three very moving pieces of media than bring these realities to life for people living elsewhere in the United States.
First is the movie “Who is Dayani Cristal?“. This half documentary half drama starring Gael Garcia Bernal tells the story of a man from Honduras who journeys to the US Mexican border in hopes for a better life, and the forensic work of a team in Tucson that tries to identify his body after it is found along the border in the Sonoran desert. The movies brings to life the stories that many thousands of immigrants who makes the trip each year, and the hundreds who perish in the desert as a results.
The second is a piece by the new media company Fusion TV “Crossing the Border in the Age of the Selfie” that describes how social media and camera phones are illuminating the journeys of immigrants in a whole new way.
Finally there is the recent leak by Breitbart Media of photos of ‘unaccompanied minors’ who have been detained at the border. These photos show just a small sliver of the 70,000 children that are predicted to show up at the border this year looking for safe passage to the United States. These photo show everyday kids being held in cramped quarters as they are presumably processed to turned away from the US, or perhaps even charged with the crime of illegal entry.
Each of these three pieces humanizes and relates, through the power of images, the reality of what is happening at our borders. I hope that everyone has a chance to take a look these and at least try to understand what it is that we are going as a community and as individuals here at the border.