His mother is ill, and he must return to Mexico with her, as without the proper “papers,” the existence human beings is considered illegal, depending on which dirt their feet rest on. Naturally, he followed his mother to where she can receive the care she needs without risking the state uprooting her and her own. Borders are scars upon far more than just the earth.
Funny how this pops up just as I am preparing to leave for the French embassy for my visa interview. So many borders on this Earth, and so many ways of reinforcing them.
This. Visas are just another way of reinforcing these borders—which as a Filipino citizen, I have to get every single time I leave the country to go to Europe— or, periodically, to go the the US (I have a 10-year visa). All of this because the assumption is that I am Filipino, therefore I will obviously do the illegal thing and run away and marry a white man the minute I land in LA or San Francisco. I have to submit bank documents and statements, my old passports, proof of birth, of employment/studies— I basically have to prove that I have enough money to tie me to my mother country and not want to escape to the USA. Then there are visa interviews, wherein the consular officer sizes you up and based on gut feel, either deny you or give you your visa. People have been denied visas for not having enough money, or because of their religion (Muslim Filipinos are particularly vulnerable), or because the consular officer has met his visa quota. I am biased towards European consuls as they base the visa issuance strictly on documentation, and I have seen and know enough people who were denied US visas because the officer didn’t like them, because they were too old or because the consular officer forgot to write the control number. Funny how your papers determine your humanity and your legality sometimes.
It’s fucking ridiculous. It’s like a test to prove that you’re worthy enough to get out of your own country— and you’re subject to it just because you had the misfortune of being born on Philippine soil.