Separation Sorrows

along the watchtower

It was about ten years ago and my first trip to Marfa. I wasn’t there for Judd’s concrete boxes, likely hadn’t been tipped to Judd’s genius at the time. I was down for some Border Patrol meeting, the substance of which has long escaped me, distanced as I am by thousands of news items and feature assignments.

Fences were going up in a nearby border state at the time and I couldn’t help but ask: Were there any plans to build a fence here in Big Bend? The room erupted in laughter.

Considering the terrain, it seemed unthinkable — ridiculous.

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Omni-directional Eye

port of entry cameras

I guess I should have titled this entry “Security II.” During my travels I met more than a few river residents who expressed concern about the Wall not for the unpalatable signal it sends to our neighbors in Mexico, or for the eco impacts, or simply the waste of taxpayer dough. The concern of these few was over which way the fence was really leaning. Is it to keep Mexicans out or the rest of us in?

Several I met with, including growers in Presidio, the brave folks at Fronteras Unlimited, and Mayor Chad Foster in Eagle Pass, talked about the impact increased security effort had already had in their communities: Farms left fallow for want of labor, Mexican communities without resources locked out, and guest and undocumented workers fenced in.

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