Border communities are among the safest places to live in the nation. They’re also rich in diverse cultural traditions, immense natural beauty, and economic opportunities. That’s why millions of people — many whose families have lived in the borderlands for centuries — are proud to call border communities like Las Cruces, El Paso, San Diego, Tucson, and the innumerable small communities in between, home.
Unfortunately, in recent decades the federal government has increasingly militarized the border region, saturating communities with tens of thousands of federal agents and forcing border residents to live in constant fear of harassment and discrimination. President Trump has only made matters worse. His mischaracterizations of the border region and of immigrants coupled with his cruel policies have stoked fear in residents, torn families apart, and even encouraged heavily armed vigilante groups to descend on the region to illegally detain asylum-seeking children and families at gunpoint.
Border residents have been left out of conversations and decisions that affect their lives and their families’ lives, yet they are the ones who must bear the brunt of callous policies and hateful rhetoric. In Voices from the Border, border residents reclaim the narrative about their home, discussing what’s it like to grow up, live, and raise families in the borderlands as the federal government continues to expand its reach into their communities and lives. They imagine a future where families remain together, asylum seekers are treated with dignity and respect, and where they and their loved ones can live without the constant threat of harassment from Border Patrol agents.