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A Daily Ritual: Children Cross Mexican Border to Receive a US Education

Lyndsey Layton - The Washington Post
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September 6, 2014
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While the immigration debate rages on in the country, one small area along the border has fostered a unique relationship that began decades ago. Hundreds of U.S. citizens living in Mexico cross the border every morning to attend public school. The Fold's Gabe Silverman takes us to Columbus, N.M. to explain. (The Washington Post)

The mothers, holding the small hands of their children, can go only as far as the glass door, where Mexico ends and America begins. They lean down and send off their little ones with a kiss and a silent prayer.

The children file into the U.S. port of entry, chatting in Spanish as they pull U.S. birth certificates covered in protective plastic from Barbie and SpongeBob backpacks. Armed U.S. border officers wave them onto American soil and the yellow buses waiting to take them to school in Luna County, N.M.

This is the daily ritual of the American schoolchildren of Palomas, Mexico, a phenomenon that dates back six decades and has helped blur the international border here.

The tide of students washing over the border has drawn muted complaints from some local residents over the cost to U.S. taxpayers. But most accept the arrangement as a simple fact of life on the border, which feels like an artificial divide between communities laced together by bloodlines, marriage and commerce.

Read the rest at The Washington Post

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