Sunday, November 8, 2009

Dueling Eaggles (local seminar)

photo by Sandra G. Trevino

Last Monday, November 2, 2009, the seminar “Dueling Eggless” was presented in the scholar room at the University of Oklahoma. The addressing theme was on U.S. –Mexico border issues. The seminar was sponsored by Dr. Alan Pc Pherson chair in Latin American Studies and Dr. Sterling Evans chair in Oklahoma, Southern Plains and Borderland History from the Department of History.
The exponents’ table was composed by Dr. Tony Payan, Department of Political Science from University of Texans-El Paso, speaking on his book “Migration and Homeland Security Issues, presenting “The U.S. Mexico Border misconceptions, contradictions and antiquated frameworks.”Other exponent, Dr. Eleine Carey, Department of History, St. John’s University, New York City speaking on “ The ice cometh,gender, drugs and the border from 1900 to the present.”
The feature speaker, the writer and poet, Margaret Randall from Albuquerque New Mexico, speaking and reading form her stories on her book “Stone Witness.” The last exponent was a multimedia presentation by Gleen Weyant, from Tucson Arizona, director of “The Anta project,” addressing: “Transforming the U.S. –Mexico Border Wall with a Cello Bow and implements of mass percussion.”
The first exponent, Dr. Tony Payan spoke about the little interactions between the U.S-Mexican Borders. He explains how open the interactions between Canada –US Borders are because both countries have a relationship of trust, which facilitates any kind of international collaboration of trade. On the other hand, the U.S.-Mexican Borders have little interactions in between. Payan explained that one of the reasons for these null interactions is because the deferent conceptions that both countries have about each other are opposites. The Mexicans perceive the U.S. as the land of opportunity and freedom and the U.S perceive the border as a threat, which as hardening the borders or international relations.
Payan suggests that there is a need to take a different approach to facilitate interactions between the countries. There is a need to create compressive way to deal with each other and it has to be done by treaty and agreements because when something crosses the border becomes and international issue and it has to be done by the federal system of both countries which creates a democratic deficit by not delegating to local or regional the authority to deal with each other.
“Where are we going?” He asked the audience, “We need to change and recapture the discourse; with the idea that we are not a threat to each other, we are an opportunity to each other.” We need to go back to negating table. There is a need to devolve political power to states and regions through new and existing agreements to deal with each other.
The author explains that the U.S. –Mexican border is the busiest border in the world, about 400 millions legal crossing every year and only a small percent are undocumented or illegal crossing s, about 40 thousand were illegal or undocumented which is only a small percent of the total crossings. However, there is to much focus only on the illegal crossings. He suggests that this issues of illegal migration can be discuss over the bridge through agreements between both countries and focus more on the legal crossings instead of the small percent of illegal migration.
On the other hand, he suggested that there a need to focus on the 400 billion dollars of legal trades every year between each country instead of only focus on the smallest percent (30 million)of illegal trades between the borders. He concludes suggesting the need to reconnect the relationship with each other by concentrating in the positive interactions between both countries.