Border Crossings

Today’s Birmingham News published an op-ed I’ve been mulling around in my head for a few weeks now. Right before Christmas, I had the opportunity to interview an undocumented immigrant woman, A. Garcia, and her extended family, living in Alabama. I was accompanied by a translator, a representative from Sowing the Seeds of Health (an outreach program for Latina women), and one of my students who’s been actively involved in helping several close friends who are also undocumented through the trials of HB-56, the state’s strict immigration law that went into effect in September 2011.

As I reveal in the story, Garcia’s life is fraught with difficulty–and that’s apart from the pain she and her family face under the new law.  For many years now, I’ve written about “competing discourses,” unavoidable messages and values that contradict. Garcia’s circumstances are a disheartening case in point. As she strives desperately to care for herself and her family, she finds herself in an impossible position of defending their right to health care in this country.

Note that “possum hunter” adamantly disagrees with me.

Take a look:


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