As I completed the reading of Chapter 16 entitled Tucson, Arizona, ca. 1994-2018 from the book “El NORTE” (Gibson, 2019), the final chapter actually reminded me a lot about my Masters of Education (M.ED) research paper entitled: The Hispanic / Latino Student: Voices; Systemically Restricted (Shazia, 2018). Given that the book was printed in 2019, with most of my research completed in 2017-2018 I see the similarity. Assimilating with Gibson’s (2019) topics of discussion included: Immigration Reform, the rise of the Hispanic populations, the undocumented and documented. And of course from a research stand-point we find a focus with the topics of discussion. At the time the focus connected well with Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI), Hispanic Serving populations with the public school systems. Intersecting with gun violence in the school community.

School Systems – As I reflect back to the same point today, my mind turns to the continuation of school shootings that took place in American schools – and as I wrote prior within my unpublished research paper entitled: The Evolving Phenomenon of Globalization: Modern Terrorism, America, and Education (Shazia, 2018), I think about the present as future generations of thinkers, scholars, the ones who would have wanted to shape the direction of the future of America. Individuals are simply wiped out through these acts of violence, that could also be viewed as terrorism. We are struck with pockets of Americas future that ends simply with rest in peace. The issue of Gun Violence brought the attention of mass media and social groups demanding justice but the acts of violence continue.

From the points after 2017-2018 we can also see how the Coronavirus health pandemic – COVID-19, has changed the shape of learning. From kids staying completely at home, going on-line to re-opening schools with the restrictions, mask mandates, Covid screening and forcing individuals to vaccinate. Which of course raises more topical issues to view the intersection of COVID-19 restrictions / policies as a disruption to learners and human freedoms. Going completely on-line could be viewed as an experimental trial to keep students at home, versus a school setting to try to curb school shootings, gang violences and so on. I may think about home schooling, or what students loose and gain as opposed from going to a school / learning institution.

I find it sad as we live in the 21st century where there are growth in technologies, designs and paving the way forward through space explorations and protecting climate, that what is being over-looked is this very fragility of the human being. The basics of clothes, food, safe and secure housing, and the desire to cultivate the mind to learn something new.

Further Reading:

Benítez, M. (1998). Hispanic-Serving Institutions: Challenges and Opportunities. NEW DIRECTIONS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION. Summer 108, 57-68.

Riley, R. (1998). Education First: Building America’s Future. The Fifth Annual State of American Education Speech, Seattle, Washington. (1-13). Department of Education, Washington, DC. Office of the Secretary. Retrieved From

Torres, A.C. (2002). Globalization, Education, and Citizenship: Solidarity verses Markets?American Educational Research Association, 39 (2), 363-378.

Discussion Topics – Gibson also assimilates with my research papers given that we were writing during the Trump era presidency; the 45th President of the United States of America. At the time topical issues of the day included: the Border Wall, NAFTA, addressing gang violence at the U.S. / Mexico southern border, in particular the MS-13 gang (Mara Salvatrucha), narcotics, illicit drugs and pharmaceuticals. Of course this issue is highly political as nations may take in influx amounts as part of regulatory practices. At the time Hurricane Maria also struck which I wrote about through various blog posts, and of course the discovering of Hispanic history, the Spanish missions, which led me to the reading of this book.

NAFTA – which is now called USMCA – (United States Mexico-Canada Agreement) was thought of as particularly important, given the trade between the United States (USA), Mexico and Canada that is worth approximately $1 Trillion annually (p. 407). I thought about the ups and downs of trade and the economic effects as related with the Coronavirus health pandemic.

Immigration – Immigration is a reoccurring theme throughout the book, particularly as the United States began to form. Historical and present issues of the undocumented are important particularly as there are babies / children and now grown adults born to the undocumented, and are actually entitled to the same benefits as American citizens (p. 411-412).

Immigration Legislation:

  • Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act in 1996
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
  • Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Resident Programs (DAPA)
  • The DREAM Act | Updated on January 28th 2021

Many of the issues affecting the U.S. southern border remain the same. Where women and children attempt border crossing from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. During the Obama presidency the 44th President of the United States of America, the then Vice-President (V.P.) Joseph Biden (p. 410) met with the Presidents of these nations to try to address the root causes of migration. Some individuals think that Latin American migrants to the USA should also be entitled a refugees. Children are often separated at the border from their parents, awaiting the legality of migratory processing. During his Presidency George W. Bush the 43rd President of the United States of America, tried to resolve issues through the Economic Oppourtunity and Immigration and Reform Act, but the bill did not pass from the then Republican held Senate house (p. 408).

The marches to support the Hispanic Immigrants, documented or not took place in March and April of 2006, in Chicago, Milwaukee, New York, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Nashville, Tennessee. The march on April 9-10 were approximated with 1.3-1.7 million people, Gibson writes that the marches and rallies were an eye opener to political establishments (p. 407-408). I reflected upon this, as we can really see future forecasts within scholarly research in action. To be mindful that some research is accepted and some is not. But the truth of what is accepted or not generally does surface within the public realms (Please see Flink 2017 for more information).

  • Catherine Cortez Masto, first Hispanic woman to reach the U.S. Senate, Nevada, 2017.
  • Ms. Regina Romero, first female Hispanic Mayor, Tucson, Arizona, 2019.
  • Santa Ana, Orange County, California is majority Hispanic office holders. (p. 404)

Border Spaces – I reflected upon the issues of the border to previous chapters with the romanticism associated with these lands as sacred spaces for connections and meeting points. But the flip side or what we could say is the reality that does exist as stated: ” ‘For those of us who live close to the border, the humanitarian crisis is not an abstraction.’ ” (p. 417). The degree to which issues of violence, gangs and humanitarian crisis do exist need to be monitored on a regular basis. Which again raises the question as to how to solve issues that intersect with humanitarian crisis’? I also reflected upon this point and the historical Spanish missions The drawing of map lines – to what was once connected is now separated. I connect this to the idea of porous borders and historical associations of this land. We could even take these topical issues to the realm of the spiritual, to infer that it is the soil of the Spanish – the ones who claimed these lands that are saying: You are mine, I Am Yours, I Belong To You. Gibson writes: “It is a useful reminder that borders remain elusive, and even if they are drawn on a map they are changeable” (p. 424).

At the end of the chapter, the final paragraph and what we can say is the end of the formal chapters from the book, Gibson reflects upon the film by John Sayles entitled as Lone Star, 1996 (p. 424). She quotes the protagonists words as she says: ” ‘All that other stuff, all that history – the hell with it, right? … Forget the Alamo’ ” (p. 425). I took the time to reflect upon these words – and I think Gibson is really quite clever as a writer to evoke the thoughts of the reader – to create the illusion that it doesn’t matter, thus the title of the book: EL NORTE | The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America (2019). However it is her indulgence of this very history, her efforts and desires to preserve, where we as readers should actually re-assure her that this history and Hispanic / Spanish American heritage does matter. The Alamo and the Spanish Missions do matter!!!

Helpful Links / Notes:

  • University of California at Berkeley | What is DACA?
  • Cuban Adjustment Act
  • Puerto Rico | Is an unincorporated territory of the United States of America, the territory has still adopted the Puerto Rican coat of arms that is granted by the Spanish crown with its main symbol as the Lamb of God. Pharmaceutical companies have taken advantage of Puerto-Rico historically as they were allowed to operate in Puerto-Rico as tax-free companies (p. 421)
  • Maquiladora – These are factories along the U.S. – Mexico border (p. 405)
  • Dia de los Muertos was established by two artists in the 1990s – for the purposes of bringing communities together and remembering lives lost (p. 417)
  • Hurricane Maria struck the island in 2017
  • My summary / reflection / blog posts attempts to present a neutral tone with regards to political view Republican or Democratic.
Puerto Rico | Coat of Arms


Flink, J. P. (2017). Latinos and Higher Education: A Literature Review. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education. 1-13.

Gibson, C. (2019). EL NORTE The Epic and Forgotten History of Hispanic North America. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press.

  • Image 1 – Link | Scenic view of Arizona, Texas
  • Image 2 – poem / quote by Shazia created with CANVA.COM
  • Image 3 – Link | Puerto Rico Coat of Arms

Notes: These thoughts were originally hand-written on November 17th 2021. Please note that these are my thoughts and views upon my reading to gain an understanding of American history of what interested me within this chapter, there are many more points that have not been discussed within my writing. All personal experiences, research cited with the name Hussain is my own origin work and have not been cited due to personal privacy and permission. It is my hope to update this writing to include more about Puerto Rico and Hurricane Maria once located from my previous website. As a continuation from my Masters research, current events shifted to the Venezuelan Humanitarian and political crisis for the development fo my Ph.D. research. Thank you for taking the time to read these chapter summaries – I look forward to writing an overall reflection about this book.

With Love & Kindness! 🙂

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