August 8, 2014 | By: Joaquin Fernandez
AT THE U.S. BORDER, Columbus, N.M. — The mothers, holding the small hands of their children, can go only as far as the glass door, where Mexico ends and America begins. They lean down and send off their little ones with a kiss and a silent prayer.
The children file into the U.S. port of entry, chatting in Spanish as they pull U.S. birth certificates covered in protective plastic from Barbie and SpongeBob backpacks. Armed U.S. border officers wave them onto American soil and the yellow buses waiting to take them to school in Luna County, N.M.
This is the daily ritual of the American schoolchildren of Palomas, Mexico, a phenomenon that dates back six decades and has helped blur the international border here.
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