The State of What Union?

At the precise moment in his State of the Union address when President Donald Trump was reassuring the U.S. public yet again that he would build a border wall, I arrived at the San Juan Bosco shelter in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico with a group of students from Prescott College. We were about to a face a completely different interpretation of the very same “union.” In the shelter’s chapel, people who had been recently deported, banished from, or repelled by the United States sat on folding metal chairs. After the students introduced themselves a woman sitting towards the front asked, “Why are you here? What benefit does it bring us?”

A long uncomfortable pause followed, partly because I interpreted the question from Spanish to English, and partly because the students had no immediate answer.

“Have you come,” the woman asked interrupting the silence, “to tear down that Berlin Wall?”

Read the rest here as published at NACLA.


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