There is a new reality for transborder, or transfronterizo, students— young people who cross the border daily to go to school and sometimes work. The transborder experience starts as young as preschool for some, and extends to college for many others, including Benitez, who crosses to attend San Diego City College about 25 minutes away from the border. Crossing for these students comes with a particular set of traumas and anxieties. They endure intense scrutiny and discriminatory practices from Border Patrol agents, aren’t sure how long a crossing will take—a long delay can mean getting fired or suspended from school—and worry that a confrontation with authorities could lead to issues for them or family members who might be undocumented. Even those who are US citizens or legal residents can feel intimidated and dehumanized by the grind of this routine.
December 13, 2018