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What Can Life on the U.S.-Mexico Border Teach America?


Earlier in this century, President George W. Bush’s administration sought to celebrate the U.S.-Mexico border as America’s front door. But in the years since, the border has been widely portrayed by politicians as a source of problems, and today most news is about illegal immigration, abuses of migrants by Customs and Border Protection, or President Trump’s family separation policy. This deluge of negative coverage obscures the fact that the border region is not only a place where millions of people live, work, and go to school; it is a region whose residents must negotiate the same challenges—from globalization to climate change to healthcare—that other Americans face. What, if anything, is distinctive about the routine experiences of those who live on the border? And, in a country that seems to be turning inward, do Americans who live on the border grapple differently with the world than those of us who live in the country’s interior? El Paso-based correspondent for the Dallas Morning News Alfredo CorchadoAlbuquerque Journal staff writer Angela Kocherga, and cultural anthropologist and journalist Cecilia Ballí visit Zócalo to go beyond the headlines and examine the realities of everyday life along the U.S.-Mexico border.