Sep 17, 2011

Immigration Realities: Pain Song Along the US - Mexico Border: the forced “yes” of Migration

upsidedown world: "Sergio and I were sitting in torn-out bus seats under a hot January sky in Nogales, Sonora, talking about crawling through thorn bushes. We were in an outdoor bus station with a shade-screen ceiling. About thirty other recently deported men and women were sprawled on the concrete, hunched in the gravel, or slouching in other deconstructed pairs of faded but once colorfully-patterned bus seats. Most of them were carrying heavy duty plastic Homeland Security bags. Inside the bags were their effects, their pertenencias, that they had either crossed the border with or were carrying or wearing when they were arrested stateside.

I was interviewing Sergio (names are changed for privacy) about his two recent deportations. The organization I work with, No More Deaths (a migrant aid org), had reclaimed and returned Sergio’s pertenencias to him. After some struggle and lots of “lost” wallets and stacks of cash, we’ve set up a system with Immigration and Customs Enforcement so that we can retrieve apprehended migrants’ pertenencias."

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