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Bridging a border to unite my transnational family

By María Leal 

As a little girl, growing up in Los Angeles, everything seemed perfect for the most part. I remember that when I was about 6 or 7 years old I would always go on long drives with my family to visit other family members in Mexico. It was then when I became curious and wondered why my family and I had to cross a thing called “the border” every now and then to visit my father’s relatives.

I also questioned why we went to visit them, but they never came to visit us. Sometimes I wanted to stay longer and my parents wouldn’t allow me because they said I had to go to school and that we were far from home.

At first I thought this was simply the way things were supposed to be. Later, though, I learned that most of my friends had relatives that visited them from other parts of Mexico and the U.S and that I wasn’t the only one going through the same confusion.

So I wanted to know why and asked my dad to clarify things for me. He told me that there were many families experiencing the same things.

Now that I am older, I did some research and realized we are part of a larger group of families with transnational ties but with some of the members unable to come to the U.S. for several reasons…

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