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Kamala Harris Finally Visits the Border—800 Miles From Where the Action Is

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In her first five months in office, Vice President Kamala Harris has learned at least one important lesson about immigration: You can run to the border, but you can’t run from the border.

That’s because sooner or later the border will find you. That’s especially true when you’re a U.S. elected official in 2021, whether you’re pandering to white nativists who want to keep out Central American refugees, or Latino activists who want to let more of them in.

This week, the border found Harris. The California Democrat — who never showed much interest in immigration while representing a border state in the U.S. Senate — finally made it to the U.S.-Mexico border. Harris paid a quick visit to a U.S. Customs Border Patrol central processing facility in El Paso, Texas. There, she received a briefing from officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Later, the Vice President met with immigrant advocates to hear their concerns before leaving “el chuco.”

That’s what the locals call El Paso — this gateway from Mexico which served, throughout the 20th Century, as Mexican Americans’ version of Ellis Island. The nickname is rumored to stem from the Pachuco zoot suit style that is believed to have originated in the El Paso area in the 1930’s.

My grandfather wasn’t a zoot suiter. He was a farm worker who lived a hand-scrabble life in Central California. His version of the American Dream passed through el chuco as he entered the United States from Chihuahua as a boy. He and his family came during The Mexican Revolution which lasted from 1910-1920, and that means they all came legally because a person couldn’t come illegally until after The Immigration Act of 1924.

There are millions of wonderful tales out here in the Southwest. They star Mexican Americans, and they’re set in places like El........

© The Daily Beast

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