The Wall

The oddest frontier

The flow of migrants to the US Mexico border shows no sign of stopping.
As we all know, Donald Trump announced his plans to build a wall during his 2016 presidential campaign, and he confirmed this after his unexpected victory. He promised that Mexico would pay for the wall, although it’s still not yet clear whether that will in fact be the case.
Nor do we know whether it will cover the entire border. It must be said, however, that a wall between the USA and Mexico is already in place. It follows the border for long distances mostly in the Western section. There’s a wall between Tijuana and San Diego, between Mexicali and Calexico, between Yuma and Vicente Guerrero. And then there’s Nogales, Arizona, with its wall splitting the town in two. As Paul Theroux said, Nogales’s wall is “the oddest frontier I’ve ever seen.”

Nogales is also the best example of how the whole border may become. A metal barrier splits the town in two: on one side is the Arizona of bland houses and shopping malls, on the other is the Mexico of mariachis, night clubs and low cost dental clinics. After years of shootings and murders on the streets, the drug cartels reached an agreement and Nogales went back to being a happy crossing point where the world’s North and South come into contact. This is where US citizens come in search of fun, while desperate migrants from Central America gather here as they wait for the right moment to enter the States illegally.

( 2014 )