In the pre-colonial era and shortly after the colonial period, border crossing by communities was a common phenomenon and occurrence. The realization of indigenous communities of the presence of an immigrant community amongst them did not come as a shocker to the natives. These immigrant communities moved from one place to another for different reasons. There were those who crossed these borders in search of better lifestyles. There were those who had also been displaced by war activities and, therefore, had to cross these boundaries in search of peaceful settlements. Still, there were those who moved from one boundary to the other as a result of sicknesses or disease outbreaks. They would, therefore, cross borders in search of medical care or to settle in areas that were considerably not prone to diseases. One such area that was frequented by borderline crossings was the Latin America. Latin America is known to have recorded a high influx of immigrant communities who crossed into the modern America from different places. There were Hispanics, as well as Africans who were captured and forced to work as slaves for the natives during the colonial periods. These immigrant communities were understood to have come with their traditions and culture that would later shape the culture and traditions of the native settlers. They were not only incorporated into the settlements but were also integrated into the communities as part of them. They would later have several influences on the indigenous communities as a result of mingling with them. There were notable changes in the languages that emerged from the mixed cultures and traditions. Other significant variations were in their way of life and traditional practices.
The history of the US- Mexico border crossings is one of the most documented immigrant border crossings in the history of Latin America. It is one of the stories that offered insights as to the experiences of the immigrant communities in crossing these boundaries as well as their experiences in the places where they settled. The immigrants who mainly crossed from Mexico would further provide insight as to how difficult it was for the native settlers to accommodate immigrants. Their story demonstrates how hard it was for immigrants to be accepted and to be integrated among the natives. In the early nineteenth century, it is known that there were no border fences between nations especially the US/ Mexico borders. The U.S. government, therefore, did not can prevent Mexican immigrants from crossing the border into the US or even had the intelligence to record the entries of Mexicans into the US. It is understood that around the year 1900 the U.S. and Mexican officials who were designated to patrol the streets of the border towns were very busy preoccupied with collection of customs duties and not chasing drug runners or illegal immigrants. During this period, there were few border towns west of El Paso and Apaches which offered challenges to the United States and Mexico. They were undecided about which country should be responsible for control of the sparsely settled border towns because just a few decades before that, this limit did not exist at all.
The transformation of the borders is understood to have began with the work of the then established boundary commission which moved quickly to draw a number of state agents and private individuals to act as to the imaginary border line. As the boundary surveys went on, U.S. and Mexican security forces fought to establish military ownership over the borderline. To do so, they had to fight to defeat the Apache Indians, another immigrant community who had been exercising military dominance over the border region and American and European tycoons who had started claiming ownership of the borderlands. It was only with the victory of the American brigade that the western boundary line became a clear indicator of military power. The conquest of these borderlands made it possible for immigrant capitalists to change the region. As immigrant ranchers, investors, laborers, miners and railroad workers arrived in the borderlands in the late nineteenth century, and they transformed the border into an area of the property, trade and soon into towns. In this context, the boundary line took on as a significant divide between legal rules and at an immigration checkpoint. The U.S. and Mexican nation-states dispatched officers. By the early twentieth century, a number of border towns had sprung up as sites of trade, government, and community watchdogs.
The history of this first version of the modern border control systems and the United States' seemingly imperfect attempts to use the border control Mexican immigration and smuggling are still prevalent on the frontier even today. However, both the U.S. and Mexican governments gradually increased their presence and capacity on the boundary over the course of its history. It is not history of how either nation managed to control the once open border, but rather of how the boundary changed over time, more so into forms and meanings that neither the US nor Mexico could predict or fully control. The boundary line immigration history began as a story for the United States and Mexico governments to claim a territory that they had yet to capture. With the growth and expansion of trade and settlement in the border, it emerged as a division between capitalist regimes and as an immigration barrier. It was understood that at the beginning of the twentieth century the boundary line began to control the illegal immigration and also became the divide between the United States and Mexico that most people in the modern nations have known it to be.
Luisa Capetillo was a well known American writer of the Puerto Rican origin. Apart from her literary works in which she covered the problems that were associated with the immigrant communities, she was also a feminist and a labor organization leader in her hey days. She was known to have desired a country where people enjoyed equal rights regardless if their descent. She was one of the writers who would capture the larger world's attention as to the inequalities that existed among the natives of America and the immigrant communities who were at times forced to offer free labor on deplorable conditions. As part of her works in literature she wrote a book translated into English as A Nation of Women: An Early Feminist Speaks Out, which let the world know her stand on a variety of issues that affected women at the time. As she would point out, she was particularly disgraced by the level of racial discrimination leveled against the immigrant population even in marriage.
William Carlos Williams was another established American poet who was distinct from the European poetry forms. His works were demonstrated as having innovative use of everyday objects and real life experience as topics for his poems as well as adding formal experiments with the episodes of the actual American situation. His literary works would show the world the real life experiences that the immigrant communities faced while they crossed the borderlines into the US. Contrary to popular belief that America was a land of opportunities, these poets later demonstrated that all was not well with the immigrant communities who had just crossed the borderlines into the US. Williams's use of objects in his case resonated well with the choice of his words as he stood not to be victimized for his writings.
Tato Laviera was another Puerto Rican writer who lived in New York most of his life. He was also regarded as a poet and a playwright. He was deeply concerned with the social and cultural development of Puerto Ricans who lived in New York. His poetry and plays were constant linguistic and artistic recognitions of the Puerto Rican culture, the African Caribbean traditions and the fast rhythms of life that was experienced in New York City. Laviera wrote in English, Spanish and a mixture of the two languages. His knowledge of both languages distinguished his writing from other writers of his generation. His poetry was highly relevant to the study of bilingual and bicultural issues in the modern world. For example, in one of his plays, he documented, examined, and questioned what it meant to be a Puerto Rican living in the United States. His texts reflected the changes that his community underwent since the major migrations of the nineteenth century and, moreover, offered an opinion of what he supposed pluralistic America should really be like. In another poetic work, one would find a forceful poem that denounced the hardships, the injustices, and the social problems that the ordinary immigrant Puerto Rican underwent in New York City. He documented cold, constant hunger, high costs of rents, regular eviction, problems of drug addiction, the language barrier, and unemployment. In another book, Laviera concluded with a series of poems that celebrated African-Caribbean music, both in their traditional functions and their re-emergence within the current context of urban New York City.
Williams, William C. The Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams: 1909-1939. New York: New Directions, 1986. Print.
Kanellos, Nicolás. Hispanic Literature of the United States: A Comprehensive Reference. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2003. Print
Hart, John M. Border Crossings: Mexican and Mexican-American Workers. Wilmington, Del: SR Books, 1998. Print.
Valle-Ferrer, Norma. Luisa Capetillo, the Pioneer Puerto Rican Feminist. New York: Lan