Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

The cost of the ‘American Dream’

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Kara Lee

On Jan. 13, Mexican authorities recovered the bodies of a woman and two children who had drowned while attempting to cross the Rio Grande to Eagle Pass, Texas. The deaths were received by American politicians as further ammunition for the current dispute between federal and state authorities on illegal immigration. The Biden administration immediately pinned the blame for the loss on Texas authorities, and Governor Greg Abbott’s administration responded in kind

Abbott’s border policies have been a source of contention between the federal and Texas governments since President Joe Biden was sworn in. Both administrations’ immediate denial of responsibility and their embarrassing scramble to condemn each other is not only a pitiful demonstration of the sad state of American politics but also a dangerous display of a growing lack of empathy and decency in the country. 

Whichever administration was to blame — if it was just one and not both — does not alter the truth: Biden and Abbott do not care about dead Mexicans at their border beyond how the mention of bodies in the press affects their political careers. Additionally, the American press does not care about dead Mexicans any more than politicians, reducing them to footnotes in articles about Biden, Abbott and the “immigrant problem.” It has become clear following the reactions to these recent losses that the American public does not think much of dead Mexicans either. 

By labeling the hundreds of people who die each year at the US-Mexico border as nothing more than “illegal immigrants,” America has covered itself in a shroud of indifference. It has become the norm for the American public to look at these people as facts, numbers and figures instead of the human beings and losses they are. One does not know their names or their story, only that they were committing a crime, and now they are dead. By dehumanizing the people who attempt the perilous trek across the border, Americans kill their capacity for sympathy, grief and human fellowship. 

A woman and two children have died. They are not the first, they will not be the last and they are not even worth a moment of silence in the eyes of the United States. One does not need to know their names or their story to mourn their loss; mourn them anyway because it is sad. It is more than just a fact for President Biden to tweet about. It is not a slogan to put on a poster in a political protest. It is just sad, and the day Americans begin to feel sad about what happens outside their precious borders, the rest of the world will benefit. 

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About the Contributors
Marcela Montufar Soria, Multimedia Editor
Marcela (She/Her/Ella) is an Honors College History and Classical Studies and Humanities major with a concentration in Religious Studies and a minor in East Asian Studies. She is an international student from Mexico and is the fourth member of her family to be a student at UTSA. After graduation, she plans to pursue a graduate education in Chinese history. Outside of school, Marcela volunteers at the Witte Museum as a gallery attendant during the weekends. Her hobbies include violin playing, amateur stargazing, video editing, writing, reading non-fiction, and painting. She joined the Paisano in Fall 2021, became Assistant Multimedia Editor in Spring 2022, and became Multimedia Editor in Spring 2023.
Kara Lee, Graphic Editor
Kara is a communication major on track to graduate in 2025. After graduating they hope to work for non-profits that specialize in environmental concerns so they can give back to the planet that provides so much for us. When Kara is not in school or working they can be found either drawing or hiking.

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