how much do you love tennis? Like this much. MICHAEL KOENIGS: That much? As much as my arms can go. [MUSIC PLAYING] MICHAEL KOENIGS: What’s the
difference between Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Mexico? I feel like the poverty. In Nogales, Arizona
there’s a lot of poverty, but in Nogales, Mexico,
it’s more noticeable. Although we live
so close, one side is such a difference
than the other side, and I feel pretty lucky to live
on this side of the border. MICHAEL KOENIGS: So you play
tennis right over that wall? Yeah. Seems a pretty big
wall, but we manage. These two cities, even though
they’re in different countries, you think they feel
like one place? MARILU PORTILLO: Yeah, we
feel like one community, although we get separated. This wall goes for
hundreds of miles. What do you think it would
be like if it weren’t there? I don’t really know. It’s kind of sad because
you get separated, but it’s good because
it’s protecting us. Sometimes, people don’t have
good intentions coming in. There’s people who are being
kept away from other people on one side of the
border, and that’s good because we have a
sort of protection, but people are going
to try and get over it. People are going to
try and do bad things. People are gonna do
it the right way. I mean, at least, we don’t
have this huge wall that we can’t see people,
like, you know, there’s things we can do about it. MICHAEL KOENIGS: Do
you think the sport brings people closer together? MARILU PORTILLO: Yeah,
I would say it does. Because of tennis, I’ve
gotten to meet new people, make new friends, gotten to
cross the border more often. It helps us to live as if
that wall, that border, wasn’t there. MICHAEL KOENIGS: We just
crossed the border into Mexico. Are you looking forward to
playing some tennis over here? Yeah.
Youth Tennis Exchange is a bi-national organization,
so we work with kids on both sides of the border. Today we’re really
excited to have our two groups together,
our American students, and our Mexican students. How much do you love tennis? [SPEAKING SPANISH] How do you feel
When you’re a local, it doesn’t matter
what country you are, you just go back and forth. You have family in the
other side, or have friends. People don’t know this
kind of dynamic we have. MARILU PORTILLO: People have
this thinking that everything across the border is
completely different, but tennis is tennis. They have the same
points, same rules, same nets, same racquets. CHARLIE CUTLER: These
days in the media and politics,
everybody gets kind of inundated by one narrative. People talk about
undocumented immigration. They talk about drugs. And frankly that is
not the whole story. We’re really trying to
use tennis as a new lens to look at border communities. [SPEAKING SPANISH] MARILU PORTILLO: On
the tennis court, we’re separated with a net, but
at the end of the tennis game, you have to greet
the other person. You have to be nice. The border should
be our tennis net, and we should all come
together, you know? GROUP: Uno, dos tres, [SPANISH]. [MUSIC PLAYING] And I want to
be a neurologist. You want to be a
neurologist when you grow up? Yeah. MICHAEL KOENIGS: So, tennis
pro and then neurologist. Yeah. MICHAEL KOENIGS:
Pretty ambitious. I like that. Big dreams.

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Dennis Veasley

2 thoughts on “Kids Cross the US – Mexico Border To Play Tennis Together | More In Common”

  1. I have 2 tennis shots. Hit the net or over the entire court lol. I'm C-A-N-A-D-A. My horrible shot would make it into Mexico.

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