When the Times interviewed my great-great-uncle, he introduced himself as a fellow journalist, the publisher of several Spanish-language newspapers. But the nterview was conducted in English because Garza understood that the media’s presentation of issues had considerable influence in shaping U.S. attitudes and policy toward its new neighbor. Today, language is less of a barrier to understanding. The problem is a distorted and invisible wall of perception, a wall the press must dismantle to truly see our neighbor—and ourselves.

Michelle Garcia is producing a documentary about the wall along the U.S.-Mexican border. She is a producer for Independent Sources, a television newsmagazine that covers New York City's ethnic press.