Target: President Donald J. Trump
Goal: Do not let the construction of a wall across the U.S.-Mexico border divide a historic indigenous nation reservation.
Since the election of Donald J. Trump, Americans have been haunted by the president’s pledge to build a wall to separate the United States from Mexico. Among the arguments opposing such an absurd proposal, one has nonetheless received scarce attention: a wall would tear apart the Tohono O’odham Nation, whose reservation extends along the border. With an upsurge in the mobilization of Native American tribes in the past years, it is time to highlight the wide-ranging consequences of a border wall to this segment of the population and express our solidarity.
The U.S.-Mexico frontier is 1,954 miles long, extending from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. Construction along the border would, therefore, require considerable financial expenses and confront incredible logistical and geographical obstacles. A border wall would be a disturbing symbol of intolerance in a globalized world. Aside from these relevant arguments, it is important to say that to the 34 thousand members of the Tohono O’odham Nation, a border wall will have a deeper impact. With a 62-mile area close to the border, the tribe would be split, and members living in the U.S./Arizona area would be apart from members residing in Mexico/Sonora.
The Tohono O’odham Nation has already been hurt by decades of gates, cameras, and patrol activity across their sacred land. Policies of immigration and border control have a huge repercussion on the tribe’s religious practice and identity. Even a partial border wall, eventually excluding the tribe’s area, will injure the Tohono O’odham Nation. Do not let such an immoral proposal damage Native American lives and wipe out this country’s history.
Dear Mr. Trump,
Your proposal of building a wall across the U.S.-Mexico border has sparked fierce opposition within and outside the country. Numerous elements make the construction of a border wall unacceptable and a bad idea: from financial expenses and logistical obstacles to the dissemination of a hateful culture. In the wake of an executive order making the U.S.-Mexico border wall an official federal goal, I would like to highlight the harmful impact a wall would impose on Native American populations. The Tohono O’odham Nation inhabits a 62-mile area between the states of Arizona (U.S.) and Sonora (Mexico) and the tribe will be divided once construction crosses their ancestral land.
Native Americans have endured the hazards of social and economic development for centuries and deserve to have their history preserved and their cultural and religious practices respected. I urge you to rethink this proposal and work towards solutions that are satisfying for everyone living and contributing to the making of this country, regardless their origins.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Lorie Shaull