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She Lives In Mexico. Her High School Is Across The Border.


We're turning our attention now to the southern U.S. border, the San Ysidro Port of Entry, where about 100,000 people legally cross between the U.S. and Mexico every day. President Trump has threatened to close this and other border crossings in response, he said, to the unruliness of a group seeking to enter the U.S. for asylum. And, for a few hours, last month, he did just that. But we wanted to focus on a less dramatic reality of Mexicans and Americans who cross over - in some cases, daily - to work, shop or visit. We heard from one American teenager who worried she might not be able to get to school.

GUADALUPE: My name Guadalupe. It's around for 4:50 in the afternoon. We're here at the border.

MARTIN: Guadalupe is 17 years old, a high school senior in San Diego. We're only using her first name because she doesn't want to get into trouble for something she does every day - travel from her home in Mexico to join the throngs of border-crossers to get to school in Southern California.

GUADALUPE: Usually, I get the bus, and the bus is really hectic. So I either have to rush out of school really early, or I have to wait until the, like, commotion dies down I guess because the bus get really packed. And then, once we get at the trolley station, it's the same thing because the trolley is usually really packed. Everyone gets off and rushes to go up the line first. Everyone's trying to go home. Like, for me, I live close to the border, and it takes, like, an hour and a half to get home.

MARTIN: It can be frustrating.

GUADALUPE: People are sick and, like, I don't know. I just see, like, old people trying to cross. They get tired, easily. And, like, kids - I get home late. I have to eat, and I still have to do chores and do my homework. So it takes me a lot more time. Like, if the border didn't exist, I'll home, like, in 30 minutes.

GUADALUPE: Guadalupe has been going through this exhausting routine for the past year. It started when her mother, Amalia (ph), who had been living in the U.S. without authorization, was denied re-entry after a visit to Mexico. To keep the family together, Lupe (ph) and her father, who's also a U.S. citizen, moved to Mexico from their home in LA.

GUADALUPE: I don't really know San Diego, so I just feel like I just want to go home because I don't know no one. My senior year was supposed to be, like, prom, hanging out with friends and family, having my graduation party and, like, my mom going to my graduation.

MARTIN: That won't happen now.

GUADALUPE: Personally, I don't know if this is much to say. But, like, is a border really necessary? It's an invisible line to my eyes. But, oh, well, have to deal with it.

MARTIN: Guadalupe will be dealing with it for another semester. She has applied to a long list of colleges in the U.S., and she's confident she'll get into one of them. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Michel Martin is the weekend host of All Things Considered, where she draws on her deep reporting and interviewing experience to dig in to the week's news. Outside the studio, she has also hosted "Michel Martin: Going There," an ambitious live event series in collaboration with Member Stations.