From Remote Desert to the State Capital / by Karie Luidens

2019-03-04 - Rail Runner Santa Fe.JPG

If the last couple weeks of research and reading have confirmed anything for me, it’s that the issues at the U.S.-Mexico border aren’t really issues about the U.S.-Mexico border. They’re about the colonial history of the Western Hemisphere, the entrenched patterns of violence that continue to play out the length of the continent, and the ongoing exploitation of Central America by the United States.

Colonial land grabs, military and political interventions, trade policy—these systems don’t just spring up naturally or accidentally. They’re the direct result of the decisions made by politicians in places of power.

In other words, the source and heart of today’s border crisis can be traced not to remote stretches of desert, but to cities.

To capitals.

To capitols.

I’m glad I took the time to travel south to New Mexico’s Bootheel a couple weeks ago to see the U.S.-Mexico border firsthand—the dry, wide-open land where people are crossing into the country.

But now I want to refocus on where policy is made. So, yesterday morning I caught the commuter train from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico, to walk the halls of the Roundhouse and watch our state legislature in action.