[OP-ED]: Is this “The Wall” Mr. Trump is talking about?
Call it “The Impossible Wall.”
We saw it with our own eyes this past weekend, and it was hard to believe.
“The Wall,” in our mind, is the one we see occasionally on TV, or, more frequently, the one built in the popular imagination by politicians who keep talking about it. But this imaginary wall has nothing to do with the real one you see once you get there and touch it with your own hands.
We were in the town of Hidalgo, Texas, a stone’s throw away from the border with Mexico, as part of the delegation of colleagues from the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP), gathered in nearby McAllen for their annual convention.
One just needs to touch the metal of that wall, to glance at it from the distance, and turn then around to see the 360 degrees of the vast and impossible geography that surrounds it, to realize that, quite evidently, this wall can only exist in one place:
The wild imagination of politicians, willing to create the fantasy of an impossible wall in people’s mind, just for the purpose of dividing citizens and scaring those less informed into casting votes for them.
It can’t be a possible wall in the mind of the skeptical engineers that have failed multiple times to build it, and much less in the mind of the thousands of human beings that cross it every single day, incessantly, regardless of how hard the border patrol pushes them back at that point, trying every single hour of the day and night to catch one in this permanent flow of human beings from all nationalities, and all continents, pouring in from Mexico into the U.S.
The wall certainly is not an impediment to cross the border, but an invitation to trespass it.
It stands there not only to intermittently mark the 2,000-mile patchy border between the two nations, but also to, very paradoxically, serve there also like a lighthouse directing the river of immigrants, guiding them after their long trail to the safest point of entry, less perilous certainly in that area than the treacherous land they left behind, full of the famous “coyotes” that mercilessly prey on them.
The wall stands there almost like a lighthouse directing the river of immigrants, guiding them in the long trail to the safest point of entry...
To climb or, much more easily, to circumvent it, is not the most difficult or heroic act of the long journey that probably took weeks and over hundreds of miles to complete up to that point, in the most northern part of the Mexican dessert, and the most Southern point in the vast Texas territory.
At that juncture, it is more a game of “cat and mouse” between thousands of men, women and children waiting for the right time to run and cross over, overwhelming often the capacity of a reinforced Border Patrol that does their best with SUVs, helicopters, and surveillance equipment to track and contain the unrelenting traffic.
This is the reality of the “Impossible Wall” Mr. Trump promises to build:
After several U.S. presidents and many governors of the bordering states that have advocated for it, barely 600 miles have been completed.
Another 1,400 more miles of the total of 2,000-mile long border from San Diego, CA, to Brownsville, TX. remain wide open.
One sees the birds flying over our heads across the Rio Grande and can’t help but wonder if the humans beings that at the same time cross this natural border, on foot, might share the same aspiration of their feathered friends:
They seem to be as ready to take the deep dive and free themselves into the open space, in natural search of a better life further up north, in a relentless fight for survival, totally oblivious to the uncertainty of their long, daring and perilous journey.