A virtual contradiction between international migration and human rights
Jorge A. Bustamante
Abstract If there is a geographical area that will be particularly affected by the tragedy of September 11, that will be the international borders of the United States. It is understandable that a country that enters in a state of war after been attacked with enormous losses, reacts by closing its international borders. Such immediate reaction has now been substituted by a more strict control over everything that crosses the border but, a fact remains, the border life is not going to be what it used to before September 11. In the short run, everything that crosses the border has slowed down by new controls. In the long run many things will return to what it was before that Tuesday, but for a long while, life at the border will not be the same. An intense interaction of more than twelve million people from the two sides of the U.S.-Mexico border have made us live in many instances as if the border does not exist. This is the case among many of us in the way we practice our family life. For the planning of weddings, birthdays, reunions, ceremonies, the border is more virtual than real. This is reversed as we get more serious in what it means to the space where institutions, the laws and the governments reminds us that there is a line that marks the beginning and the end of two different nations.