The Economist has published a map depicting the current location of the Mexican-origin population in the US. This map is intriguing and enlightening as it also charts the 1848 border between Mexico and the US. Following the 1848 war, Mexico agreed to surrender half of its territory to the US. This included the present-day states of Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Texas (and parts of several other states).
Although the political border between these two countries changed 166 years ago, the population of those of Mexican descent living in these areas has remained high – this of course includes recent arrivals, but also includes those that can trace their origins back to before the “new” border was enforced. In many ways this map reveals the constructed nature of borders and reminds us that the historical context of any present-day issue is vital to a full understanding of a given situation.