2021 Student Research Conference:
34th Annual Student Research Conference

Rivers, Fences, and Walls: How a Physical Barrier at the U.S.-Mexico Border Has Impacted Border Communities 

Kaitlin Lewis
Dr. Marc Becker and Dr. Bridget Thomas, Faculty Mentors

Throughout the last half-century, communities located along the U.S.-Mexico border have experienced the complex consequences of a physical barrier separating the two economically, socially, and culturally interdependent border regions. Numerous scholars, including Romero/LAR (2008), Martinez (2008), and Holt and Dacy (2011), have attempted to analyze how border enforcement has impacted migrants, families, and landowners along the border. My research synthesizes these analyses and creates a more comprehensive perspective. It answers the question: How has the presence of a physical barrier dividing the United States and Mexico impacted border communities at large? Through this discussion, it is evident that these communities have predominantly responded negatively to fence construction, often advocating for greater cohesion between neighboring cities. By emphasizing the importance of community, family, faith, and artistic expression in protesting the physical barrier, individuals continue to challenge the social and physical borders present in their communities.

Keywords: U.S.-Mexico Border, border communities, immigration , sister cities, physical barrier

Topic(s):Interdisciplinary Studies

Presentation Type: Asynchronous Virtual Oral Presentation

Session: 13-3
Location: https://flipgrid.com/d0254fde
Time: 0:00

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