Twice in the last half-century the US has tried to use the border to force Mexico to bend to America’s will. The ruse failed both times. The history suggests that threats of border closure may be politically useful, but are never a real answer to human tragedy.
Shawyn Lee was adopted from South Korea into a white, midwestern American family. Three decades later, she touched down in Seoul again for the first time, exploring her heritage as a queer, Korean adoptee.
Here is what I know: I am culturally American. I am racially Asian. I came to the US when I was just over six months old, and a couple years later I was naturalized as an American citizen. But when I traveled back to South Korea for the first time, I realized how much of my heritage had been left behind.
The “Great Dying” of Indigenous populations in the Americas after the arrival of Europeans is the largest human mortality event in proportion to the global population, putting it second in absolute terms only to World War II. The devastation of the population also caused a drop in atmospheric CO₂. During this period, severe winters and cold summers caused famines and rebellions from Europe to Japan.
Indigenous Crees lived in the northern Plains long before the US-Canada border divided the region. But bisected by the line and labeled “foreign” Indians in the US, Cree were denied basic necessities, work — and eventually, even the right to stay in the country.