Zero Tolerance? Tolerate 1 Book.

At this point, we’ve all probably seen the news about the family separations that occurred (are occurring?) because of Trump’s zero tolerance immigration policy. Honestly, there’s a lot I could say about that – but we’ve all seen and heard many opinions on this and I don’t think I’ll be able to phrase any argument more persuasive than those already shared. Hitler/Holocaust comparisons, inhumane, immoral — the point is what’s happened is something we should be ashamed our country is responsible for. But the one thing I kept thinking when this was covered so intensively on the news, was that everyone just needs to read one book. Just one. And I think everyone who is in support of ICE and our current immigration policies as well as those against should read just one. The book I’m thinking of is called Land of 1,000 Graves, and I read it this past year for my cultural anthropology class. The book details the stories of several families that the author met and followed for years. It tells the stories of these families – and their experiences with the U.S-Mexico border and crossing it. The book is unforgiving and brutally honest – there is no doubt about the cruelty of the US border patrol and the consequences of the U.S’s immigration policies. It’s first and foremost very educational about the U.S immigration policies, their effects and consequences and the brutality of border control. It details the perils of crossing the border, specifically through the Sonoran Desert. The book’s details of the death and brutality found in the desert is visceral, and something a reader cannot forget. But beyond these inhuman aspects of the border experience – the mechanical and detached maneuvering of the United States and the unforgiving desert – the human part of the book is the stories of these immigrants. The book lets you understand what drove these migrants to attempt the crossing, and how the trauma stays with them. As a reader, you witness firsthand their tremendous loss – they don’t all survive. And those who do survive, don’t make it out of the desert without scars. Now honestly, I’m sure this is just one out of many, many, many books about the migrant experiences with the U.S – Mexico border – so just please, please read any single one of them. Reading someone’s story, someone’s truth is powerful. Read any of their stories and I hope you’ll get a new perspective, like I did. I thought I knew a lot about the U.S border and I still learned so many important things. Read their stories. They deserve to be heard. This deserves our attention. So if you think the Zero Tolerance policy is okay, if you think rescinding DACA is okay, if you encourage the actions of ICE and the U.S Border Patrol – all I’m asking is that you just read one of these books. Don’t ignore their truth.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s