Negotiating the Border

On Saturday, I'll be taking my running club to a race in Edinburg, a town 30 minutes north of our school. The race is at another school in our charter network and I had imagined that students' parents could drive them. For five kids, who play on club soccer teams that travel around Texas, that was no big deal. For three of them, it caused some concern.

"Will there be a bus, miss?"  

Amanda's* mom lives in Reynosa, across the border from McAllen. Amanda normally spends school nights with her aunt in Pharr but likes to go home on the weekends. Two other students live in Reynosa. Their parents drive them to the border bridge and drop them off on the Mexican side. They walk alone through the turnstiles and to an AutoZone across the street, where a school bus picks them up.

"Oh, it's ok, I'm normally with my cousins," Sofia* says. 

Walls and borders are a daily concern here. We can't see the wall from school, but I'd see it on my drive to work last year. Before sunrise, migrant workers picked lettuce or berries or tomatoes on the ranches around Military Highway. They lined their pickup trucks on the field with headlights shining south to the wall. It looks frightening but fragile from far away, a row of sharpened pickup sticks. 

This NYT article does a beautiful job of telling stories that unfold around, over, and under the border wall further west, in Arizona:

In Nogales, there‚Äôs a short stretch of border where the fence turns into a metal grille. At sundown one evening we watched as two women faced each other across the border, touched fingers through the grille, and wept. 

We managed to get a bus that will leave from school on Saturday. I hope all of my kids can get there.