In Far Northwest, a New Border Focus on Latinos
May 30th 2012 · 0 Comments
Its ocean shoreline, the northwesternmost coast of the contiguous United States, is accessible by a single road, Highway 101, and it has long been traveled by a distinctive fleet: loud logging trucks rumbling out of the dark and wet woods, rusty pickups with windows pronouncing “Native Pride,” stray Subarus hauling surfboards and kayaks to the cold Pacific.
Sometimes they respond unexpectedly to assist with mundane traffic stops conducted by the local police. Sometimes they hover outside the warehouse where Mexican immigrants sell the salal they pick in the temperate rain forest. Sometimes they confront people whose primary offense, many argue, is skin tone.
Those kinds of scenes might be common in towns that border Mexico in Texas, Arizona or California. But the border here is with Canada, which is separated from the peninsula by the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
“What’s the purpose of the Border Patrol in a place that has no border problems?” asked Art Argyropoulos, who is from Greece and runs a restaurant on the peninsula with his wife, who is from Mexico.
A version of this column originally appeared in mexicoinstitute.wordpress.com.
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