He was born a second-class citizen in South Africa; he died one of the world’s most respected men.
When they see the police checkpoint, their spirits drop to the floor. They know the police have seen them. They know they can’t avoid the checkpoint. They know they can’t turn around, or the police will chase them. This is the border-policing apparatus advancing into the interior of the country, the “elastic border” that make places like Ridgeland, South Carolina, seem like the U.S.-Mexico divide. Criminologist Nancy A. Wonders says that in this new world, “border performances occur in locations that may be far from the actual geographic border” and the day-to-day decisions by government agents, police officers, airport workers, employers, and others “play a critical role in determining where, how, and on whose body a border” will be imposed. María has been living in South Carolina for eighteen years. But looking at the police yelling at them to stop the vehicle, she knows that she has had one too many clashes with this border police state. She has two sons, one daughter, and several grandchildren living here. While through these years there have been many ups and downs, she has never felt so relentlessly targeted by police, so immobilized. What happens next at the checkpoint is a crucial decision. María decides to return to Naco, Sonora, Mexico.