Alienated Borderlands

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Additionally, because borders have a distinct historical background, it eventually affects the social, economic, and political realities of the borderland and determines the interaction between the border people. As different interactions happened in the borderlands compare to the other regions in both countries, certain levels of interactions inevitably make distinctions as Martínez (6-9) briefly categorizes the borderlands into four groups, namely:
1. Alienated borderlands
In this type of borderland, interaction does not exist or it is prohibited because of “severe tensions between the adjacent states and/or border populations” (Cassarino 4). “Border is functionally closed, and cross-border interaction is totally or almost totally absent.
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Integrated borderlands
In integrated borderlands, there are no barriers, which can hinder the flow of goods or people. This kind of borderland is very stable where “the economies of the two (or more) countries are functionally merged, and there is unrestricted movement of people and goods across the boundary” (Martínez 7). Integrated borders exist in countries that are part of the Schengen area for example (Cassarino 4). This particular typology can help people to scrutinize the dynamic borderlands by observing what kind of interactions exist in that area. The categorization is also beneficial to investigate borderlands’ historical development. The U.S.-Mexico border, for example, has gone through different stages where it began the first stage as the alienated borderland in the period of 1560s-1880. Then it developed to be a coexistent borderland during 1880-1920. Finally, from 1920 to present, the U.S.-Mexico border turned to be an interdependent borderland with some major developments namely “the border rectification agreements; water treaties; the Chamizal settlement; expansion of border trade, industrialization, tourism, and migration; extraordinary population and urban growth” (Martínez
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Not only full of risk to be deported, such journey could also take people’s lives. Sin Nombre clearly pictures how the journey into the North is very risky (including the threats from the local gangs and bad coyotes) and dangerous where people’s lives become so vulnerable. Not only having the difficulties of crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, this film does illustrate the danger of crossing the Mexico border (the protagonist in Sin Nombre starts travelling from Honduras). Such illustration is portrayed in the novels such as Luis Alberto Urrea’s into the Beautiful North, Mario Ben Castro’s Odyssey to the North, and Sonia Nazario’s Enrique’s Journey. In real life experiences, Maid in America and Maria in Nobody’s Land documentaries are more than enough to give a clear picture on how illegal border crossing could be. Nazario’s Enrique’s Journey, a recount story of a Honduran boy who is crossing borders (Honduras-Guatemala, Guatemala-Mexico, and Mexico-U.S.) in search of his mother is best to elucidate the praxy of border crossing. The journey Nazario narrates is akin to what Sin Nombre illustrates. Aforementioned in the introduction, once people succeed in crossing the physical borders, another border awaits, the unseen borders (see page 6-9). For the immigrants, the difficulties coping with the American mainstream is what keeping their immigrant

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