March 5, 2017 | The Conversation

In his newest article in The Conversation, Michael Dear describes the nuances of the ‘third nation’ community that inhabits the U.S.-Mexican border, and the effects of the border wall on the lives and livelihoods of the people who live in its shadow.

People cross the international border from Mexico to the U.S. in Nogales, Arizona.©The Connection, REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

In 2002, I began traveling the entire length of the U.S.-Mexico border on both sides. From Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, the border measures almost 2,000 miles.

What distinguished my journey was that I began traveling well before the idea of fortifying the U.S.-Mexico border entered public consciousness. Inadvertently, I became witness to the wall’s construction and its impact on the lives of border dwellers, which I reported in my book, “Why Walls Won’t Work.”
… 
Nothing like it ever existed in the territory that is now the U.S.-Mexico boundary. It usurps cross-border connections that have origins in prehistoric times. Twin-city communities remain closely connected through work, family, schooling, leisure, commerce and culture. For them, the territory between the two nations is not a matter of sovereignty, difference and separation, but instead is the very foundation of their way of life.

To read the full article, click here.