“When I think of immigration, I want to think of families. I want to think of unity. I want to think of a safe place, you know, free of persecution, a place where we can welcome a child that is hungry.”
Within moments of being born we are placed in our mothers arms and it is like being injected by a syringe full of love, truly the most powerful drug. Three weeks after my daughter was born my friend Bianca and I decided to drive from Puerto Angel to Puerto Escondido for the day. I strapped my baby into her car seat; a luxury item back then and we headed off. As I drove I glanced nervously in the rear view mirror to make sure she was snuggled and safe. I didn’t get very far before I pulled over to check and make sure she was still breathing as she was sleeping so peacefully lulled by the movement of the car. She was fine and let out a small yowl as I prodded her to make sure she was ok. Then I burst into tears and I said to Bianca, “How does anybody stand living with this heightened sense of love and responsibility?” Continue reading Editor’s Letter
By Brooke Gazer
After living in Mexico for twenty years, I consider it home; last month I left the country briefly for the first time in twelve years. It was also the first time I used two passports to travel. Leaving and entering Mexico, I had my Mexican passport stamped; entering and leaving Canada, I presented my Canadian one. Continue reading On Becoming a Mexican Citizen
By Carole Reedy
For centuries, men, women, and children have been roaming our planet, relocating for a variety of reasons, from hunger and safety to gainful employment. The immigration phenomenon is grist for writers who guide us in our understanding of human nature and desire. Here is a sprinkling of notable literary works relating the wide-ranging experiences of immigrants. Continue reading Immigrant Tales Penned by Our Favorite Authors
By Marcia Chaiken and Jan Chaiken
The fate of over a half-million young adults, born in Mexico but raised in the U.S., will hang in the balance when the U.S. Supreme Court convenes this fall and hears cases that challenge the legality of DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Although there are immigrants from other countries who are registered in the DACA program, Mexicans constitute 80% of the more than 700,000 people who were in the DACA program as of a year ago. And given the current composition of the Court and related rulings, it is quite possible that these young people, who have provided demonstrable valuable service to the U.S., may be deported to Mexico, a country where most can’t recall living previously, with no friends and possibly no family, and a culture with which they do not identify. How did they become enmeshed in this travesty? Continue reading DACA: A Prime Target of Anti-Mexican Xenophobes
By Alvin Starkman, M.A., J.D.
About a decade ago, beginning in the wake of the 2008-09 US economic crisis, the pattern of migration between the United States and the state of Oaxaca got turned on its head. To a significant extent, it was because of the initial stages of the global mezcal boom. Continue reading The Mezcal Boom and Migration: Strange Bedfellows?
By Kary Vannice
Almost every immigration issue since the beginning of time is deeply rooted in an “us vs. them” mindset. It stems from a deeply territorial view of the world that delineates “my side” from “your side” based on arbitrary and ever-changing lines on a map. And is exacerbated by our tendency to identify someone as “other” based on not-so-arbitrary differences like skin color, language, culture, and religious beliefs. Continue reading Step Out of the House of Mirrors
By Deborah Van Hoewyk
If you’ve been paying even the slightest attention to international news, you know there’s a very unpleasant situation on the border between the U.S. and Mexico, and that U.S. pressure on Mexico has created a difficult situation on Mexico’s southern border with Central America – all so the U.S. can reduce, if not eliminate, migrants from south of the border. But if you’re reading this in English in Mexico, you also know that foreigners visit Mexico. Good numbers of them stay, and those numbers are increasing. Continue reading Forget about the Folks EMigrating from Mexico – Who’s IMmigrating? And How’s That Working Out?
“The main facts in human life are five: birth, food, sleep, love and death.”
It’s our annual food issue! This month our writers explore lesser known ingredients and share their experiences of new food in new places. If you know me in person you know how important food is to me. I embrace the ethos that the best way to learn about a culture is through it’s food. So when I want to learn about people I ask ‘what are you eating?’
I just got back from a foodcation where I baked croissants in Paris and drank Pouilly Fume in the Loire Valley with a vintner whose family has been making wine for generations. I eased into long afternoon lunches of foie gras, leeks and red wine. Instead of post-meal siestas I took my cues from Paris’ best flaneurs and sat by the fountain in the Tuileries Garden people watching and enjoying the spectacle that is Paris. Continue reading Editor’s Letter