For many students attending borderland universities like UTEP, waking up early to cross an international bridge is a daily routine. Some are preparing for the risk of not being able to make the commute if the border shuts down.
“Either way that it goes, half of my life will be disappearing,” Estafnia Castillo travels to and from Ciudad Juarez to get to UTEP.
With immigration one of the most controversial issues in the nation, she’s already seen the impact in her commute.
“I have the express lane and it’s still like an hour which it shouldn’t. It should be really fast,” Castillo said.
She could be one of the many students who will either be locked in or out of UTEP should President Trump decide to close the international bridges.
Castillo says it’ll create obstacles to either get home to class, “Obviously missing lecture, missing class, missing discussion so you miss a big chunk of information.”
UTEP is getting ready for the possible border halt as they plan to provide temporary housing and a food pantry if students are not able to return to their homes in Ciudad Juarez.
For now, students like Estefania are asked to plan ahead in case the pathways they rely on get shut down.
“Fortunately, I have someone who I can stay with because I know there’s not a lot of room and there’s a lot of us who cross daily. If I get stuck in Juarez, I have been communicating with my professors and they understand what’s going on.”
KTSM is still waiting to hear from EPCC and NMSU on their plans.