Yesterday, I walked through the U.S/Mexico Border and took a bus to Ensenada. (By the way, I recommend everyone to go, they have great food EVERYWHERE, nice local shops and nice people.) Fully stuffed and with bakery in our bags, we headed back to the border and got in line to walk through again.
To tell the truth, I’ve never felt so discriminated. While we were in line, one man was handcuffed and walked to a “special office” by two police men. A few minutes later, an officer yelled “Stop traffic!” and then we saw a plump officer with an ear to ear smile, gazing at everyone of us that were in line. In front of him, he was pushing an old man and young woman across the room, handcuffed to a box that held their belongings. The whole time they walked to the other side of the room, this officer kept smiling at us.
Once we were closer in line, the officer who was checking passports/ids for the line I was standing in, escorted another man he was questioning to this “special office.” I noticed that none of these officers said a simple “hi” or “hello” when a new person went up to their booth. Instead they treated everyone like if they were criminals. It was finally my turn, as I walked up to the officer, he said “hi,” surprised, I said hello, smiled, and handed him my passport. He then asked me, “Are you going back to work?” Offended, I calmly told him I was going back home. Just because I’m hispanic and crossing the border on a Sunday night, he automatically assumed I was crossing to work the next day. Of course, they didn’t ask my Asian boyfriend that. After he interrogated me with questions such as “what was your purpose in Mexico” I was finally allowed to pass through.
All I can say is that from having a nice experience in Mexico, and treated kindly even with my Salvadoran spanish, I was sad to see the hispanic community escorted humiliatingly and treated like this. Just because we’re Latino, doesn’t mean we’re criminals, sadly, the border patrol assumes this and racially profiles everyone.