Why towns separated by U.S.-Mexico border closings are fighting back


It was the first time in a year that the two girls would see their grandmother and aunt, and they were dressed for the occasion…
Catching sight of their relatives on the other side of the river, they exploded into wide smiles and waded in, yelling and waving while trying to hold onto the bouquets of red roses they had for the women.

Eventually, dozens of other Texans and Mexicans followed suit, albeit with a little more hesitation, given that U.S. Border Patrol agents lingered above on a hill. By the end of the day, relatives and friends packed that corner of the river dancing, singing and grilling on both sides…

Crossing between the towns used to mean a couple of minutes wading across the river. Residents now face a four-hour trek through the nearest official crossing.


Sounds like a fun party. It’s unfortunate that geopolitical realities have damaged relationships across both our southern and northern borders, but it is what it is.


Just curious if you have a source other than aljazerra?


Here is one:

“We didn’t just want to protest the border being closed, we wanted to show all the wonderful things that were lost when it was,” Haislip said. And so they began planning Voices From Both Sides as an international “fiesta protesta.”

Haislip and Ryan joined the leaders of Paso Lajitas and San Carlos, a larger Mexican town fifteen miles south of the Rio Grande, in organizing the effort.

“We want to show the importance of opening this passage, for cultural and economic reasons,” the mayor of San Carlos, Benjamin Ortiz, said through a translator.

For decades, the Paso Lajitas crossing, used by a range of people, from Comanches to nineteenth-century quicksilver miners to tourists, was one of several “unpatrolled ports of entry” in this rugged, sparsely populated Big Bend region of Texas. In the nineties, that designation was removed, but unofficial border crossings persisted, tacitly permitted by local and federal authorities. Lee Penland, chief of the Big Bend Valley Volunteer Fire Department, recalled exploring Paso Lajitas during fishing expeditions with his children during the nineties. “You could just come and go. There never were any problems,” Penland said.


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