Wednesday March 27, 2013
Today we started off our day with a presentation from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). This is the first time that we heard from the “other” side of the immigration issue. The presentation broke down the different fields and aspects that make up HSI. We got more in to detail about the laws surrounding immigration as well as weapon/drug smuggling. As a group, we felt a bit uncomfortable with the language being used, especially since we’ve been learning about terminology and the power of language.
After the presentation, we went to the University of Arizona to visit the exhibit, “A World Separated by Borders”. It was a photo gallery depicting different aspects of migrating across the border. The gallery showed a very realistic view of what occurs daily and the emotions that many migrants feel/experience. One photo that struck us depicted a migrant showing off a tattoo of his baby girl that he is separated from. This photo really humanized what it means to be a migrant because we were able to put a face to it and a face to the issues that we have been learning about and discussing.
We then walked over to another part of campus where there was a sculpture, including a part of the old border wall. The sculpture had two metal people on both sides of the wall, pushing off of it. We were told that, when this was at the actual border, all four figures would be on the US side and then switched over to the Mexico side, periodically. It was very striking to us that all the four figures were on one side, we originally thought that two were on one side and the other two were on the other side. It was also very striking to see the sculpture on the university campus, signifying how prominent the issue is to the community.
We had the opportunity to see a documentary titled Two Americans which showed both sides of the immigration issue, specifically in Phoenix. The documentary was very eye opening and emotional. It led us, as a group, to question how we can get involved and contribute. It made us reflect on the laws, like SB1070, and how one group in power can really make all the decisions or affect the greater community.
We ended the day with making pupusas with Martha, a Salvadorian migrant. It was a great bonding experience for all of us and it lightened our emotionally draining week.