Life Between Borders: Black Migrants in Mexico, a short documentary, directed by self-proclaimed blaxican, Ebony Bailey, follows the African and Haitian immigration experience in Tijuana, Mexico. In the past half century the city has welcomed a major influx of African and Haitian immigrants, making its reported two million habitants a lot more diverse. In 2011, statistics showed that over half of the city’s population was born outside of the state, according to Remezcla.
Through interviews and raw footage of daily life in Tijuana, the film depicts the immigrant experience and showcases how they arrived. For Haitians, many started migrating to Mexico after the devastating earthquake that swept the island in 2010. Many fled to Brazil, and later trekked all throughout South and Central America to get there.
You’ll also see how the African diaspora permeates the city streets of Tijuana with African cuisine and artwork. But like for many foreigners, there is no shortage of obstacles here. In efforts to house the incoming inhabitants, churches and non-profits have established about 28 shelters for them—still not enough.
Amid such struggle, advocates say the Mexican government should come up with more resources for its newcomers. From Mexico City to Tijuana, Bailey presents viewers with the varied identities that make up African and Haitian immigrants. Some of them want to come to America, while others call Mexico home, considering the turbulent socio-political climate that has risen since President Donald Trump’s appointment.
Watch Life Between Borders: Black Migrants in Mexico: