No Borders Reports: Conversations at the Wall
by Seth Porcello
Monday Nov 5th, 2007
This 4.5min report listens to voices from both sides of the border fence in Calexico California, as people meet their loved ones through the barrier that separates them. This report is part of the No Borders Camp convergence on the US Mexico Border. For more information see:
MP3 at 5.3 MB
To walk from Calexico, California to Mexicali Mexico is only a matter of walking down a sidewalk, through some steel revolving gates, and out onto the Mexicali streets. To walk from Mexicali to Calexico however, requires papers, visas, interactions with border patrol, and usually waiting in a huge line. The two cities, while divided, are economically and socially one. In any other north american city they would be considered different neighborhoods, but here, they are divided by a steel wall, policed on only one side.
Families and friends who have been separated by the border, often meet on both sides of the fence to talk, or squeeze money through the steel grid to relatives in Mexicali, and see what little they can of their loved ones. Standing in Calexico, I interviewed one man in Mexicali through the border fence.
what I can say about this fence, this fence is a form of discrimination. Its a form of discrimination because all Americans can come to Mexico without a problem but Mexicans cannot go the United States. Every American can enter and leave through this fence, but Mexicans cannot, WHY? Because they need papers. When I look at this fence, it’s something that has no right to exist. Why did they put up this barrier? Is it discrimination against Mexicans, or, I don’t know, something racial.
I met Maria, who ask that her real name not be used, why she had come to the Calexico side of the border fence.
Maria: I came to see my family.
Maria: Through the fence, yes. They have to be on the other side of the fence, and me inside. Its a difficult situation, yes, but they have to. We have to be strong, for many things, for our families who we don’t see them, for the home. For many things, we have to have courage.
Seth: And you can’t cross the border.
Maria: No I can’t cross the border.
Seth: Is this fence just?
Maria: No, it’s not just, but what can we do. If it could be done I would go. No it’s not just.
Reporting from Calexico, Mexicali, and the imaginary space in between,
this is seth porcello