By Jeff Ni
“A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation.” ― Ronald Reagan
Today, immigration is a multifaceted topic, and oftentimes, the political narrative surrounding immigration is rife with dread. Much of the conversation is driven by fear, not of the Mexican, but of the even more terrifying unknown. I would venture that few people who have an “informed” opinion on border policy have sacrificed the time to genuinely hear the situation of the migrant. Even fewer have probably visited the border itself.
As a medical student at a pioneer institution for the acceptance of DACA students, I recognized my own ignorance on immigration, and I decided to participate in a summer trip to Tucson to learn from an outstanding educational organization called Borderlinks. My trip was brief but sufficient for me to realize that the situation was dire, and that our country, sadly and profoundly, had lost control…
Many hopeful migrants do not make it to our border. “To walk a mile in her shoes” is an old adage, one which I played out literally. I was given the opportunity to walk through the scorching desert, and to witness the items left behind. A pair of heels. A bible. A baby’s bottle. Powerful items which told a story of hope and desperation. Hundreds of these stories have been extinguished from dehydration, hyperthermia and other preventable causes. During a vigil in Douglas, we lined wooden crosses on the side of a major street, each bearing a name and remembering a death. The street ended before the crosses did, some hauntingly marked “No Identificado”.