Lampert, Ellen, Class of 2007 – (Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States)

Practicum Summary:

Seeking Opportunties for Positive Change on the New Mexico Border

Ellen Lampert’s research practicum examines cross-border state and local policy in the context of federal directives in New Mexico, specifically the border situation and those who determine the policy that affects the situation. To carry out her study, she first studied the history of the situation and identified contributing factors such as historical trends and racist rhetoric. She then described the existing situation in terms of recent developments that included a rush to increase border security in the aftermath of international terrorism, socioeconomic disparities that drive Mexican economic migration, drug and human smuggling, paramilitary vigilantism, the border wall mandate, Congressional representation, and unrealistic or conflicting policy. Lampert’s final step in her research is to explore the possibilities for defusing or halting negative rhetoric being encouraged at the federal level that has adverse effects on the state and local community and the way that policy-implementing groups and individuals can work towards a plan for positive resolution. Lampert concludes that the primary problem regarding the decision to build a wall is failure to discuss adequately what the border region should look like in the future. In order to improve relations between the New Mexican community and the US Government, there should be an officially agreed upon vision and strategic plan, constructive dialogue, joint infrastructure projects, and good academic, trade, and labor relations, which will be more mutually beneficial than a wall with armed troops.