As I lay in my bed after a long day of editing, I find myself missing my airless air mattress that I spent two weeks sleeping on.
I miss the dry heat.
I miss the people we encountered.
I miss the car rides (kinda).
I miss Nogales.
When I came home Saturday, I was immediately asked by a friend how the trip went. But I couldn’t for some reason come up with a clear and concise way to answer her question.
Because it’s complicated. The immigration crisis is complicated. There isn’t just two sides to this story. The narrative intertwines and intersects different perspectives creating a web of conflicts, relationships and mistreatment.
I can’t compile a paragraph and just explain everything that happened the past two weeks.
How do I explain my emotions when I am so unsure of what I am feeling? Over the past two weeks I’ve felt, mad, ignorant, ashamed, upset, hopeful, excited and unsure. And I am still processing all the experiences and information that I’ve received.
During our interviews we asked the question, “What would you say to people who think they are not responsible for migrants because they are not US citizens?” The response we received every time was, you need to come to the border, you need to see what life is like for the migrant.
And we did just that.
This trip transformed my thoughts on immigration. Through our interviews and experiences, immigration was humanized. It is easy to disassociate ourselves from it because of distance or lack of interest. But it’s important to humanize immigration.
When you have to stare at something directly in the face you begin to break away little pieces in order to find the problem. It’s not an easy thing to face a problem so head on. When you do, you realize that you are apart of the problem. We all are. We are not helping fix the current immigration crisis by how we are currently living. People are arrogant of what is actually going on. You might think you have a grasp on what is happening but it is not until you are there facing it head on that you can truly grasp and attain all the conflicts that are happening just in Nogales.
I think what it ultimately comes down to is that there is no easy solution. There are problems not just in Mexico but in the United States. The problem all across the border are effecting all of us, yes all of us. We are all contributing to it.
So how do I explain that to somebody?
Well, my hope is that the film will give people just a taste of what is happening and then that will invite them to learn more and to ask those complicated questions.