US-Mexico Border History
Student Artist: Carlos Moradel
Course: Data Visualization with Lucy HG Solomon
Researcher: Dr. S. Deborah Kang, CSUSM History
Dr. Deborah Kang’s work involves the protest against building a wall between the US and Mexico. Through her work she is trying to show that immigration has been around since the beginning of the 20th century and that we have benefited from the migrant workers. Most politicians know that a wall is not realistic, as in actuality a wall would kill most of the US economy, especially local businesses. Having good relationships with Canada and Mexico is a matter of necessity.
It started with the first railroads in the US and Mexico, who with the emergence of industries such as corporate ranchers and farming industry, brought migrant workers or turned to Mexican nationals. This was due to the ban on Chinese immigrants, since China was at war with our allies. The data is a direct reflection of the activity that is happening now, where people migrate to work, study or visit for a while.
I started with table full of data, which had the first recorded migration numbers by the United States Department of Justice. The table was provided by Dr. Kang, and it is the basis of her research and soon-to-be published book. I must say that at first the data was overwhelming, but after consulting with Dr. Kang, it became clear that it was much simpler than looking at a bunch of numbers. It is here that I decided upon me objective – to make this chart easier to understand through an illustration.
I proceeded by taking the most essential pieces of data needed to understand the overall concept, and later through a bunch of rough sketches and multiple layouts on paper.
I was able to come up with a conception that conveys the overall notion from the table and, at same time, gives the viewer the information need it to decipher the set of data.