I have read about 7,000 books. One of them is called Distant Neighbors. The book is about the history of the relationship between Mexico and the United States. Go back to around 1960. There was no barrier at all between San Ysidro and Tijuana. If you cross between the Niagara Falls NY, and Niagara Falls Ontario when it is extremely busy the wait to cross is between 5 and 15 minutes. My father married a woman from Ontario.
I married one from Mexico City.
Relations are now strained between The U.S. and our neighbor to the south. The Trump administration seems to regard many of those crossing over to be criminals, gangsters, or even Islamic terrorists. Isn’t it strange that many of the American citizens with fear and dread over those coming from Mexico and Central America are the ones who live in New York, Washington D.C., or in states which are closer to Canada than Mexico. It seems odd to me that I have spoken with people who have lived in Chula Vista for all of their life without visiting Tijuana.
I once visited a dentist on Third Avenue in Chula Vista. I was told after X-rays were taken that I needed to have two crowns put in at a cost of $1,600. I went to a dentist in Tijuana. He said crowns were not necessary. He charged me $140 dollars to fill to cavities. Many Americans go south for bargain rates on dental care, and sometimes medical attention, or more reasonable rates in a hospital for an operation. And of course it is often the case that visitors to Tijuana also stop, for lunch, to fill prescriptions, or even visit friends or relatives on the other side. It works both ways. People from TJ often come north to shop, or see people they know. The busiest border crossing is right here though go all the way to Texas and there is plenty of social and business activity going on constantly. That is to the benefit of both countries. The border crises exists in the minds of some conservative politicians who are a long ways from Mexico.
Perhaps there should be a bi-lateral commission with representatives for the four US states and the corresponding ones on the Mexican side to deal with contemporary issues, and live more amicably together in the future. Americans have no problem having friendly dealings with Canadiens. That should be the case to the north and to the south. The fixed ideas of some dogmatic politicians are the main barrier between us y los vecinos al sur.
Deuel Woodward resides in Chula Vista.