Migrant Stories

Outsourcing workers: deported grandfather finds a U.S. job in Tijuana
Migrant Stories

Outsourcing workers: deported grandfather finds a U.S. job in Tijuana

Robert Vivar, a father and grandfather, made a good living working construction in Corona, California. That is, until he was tracked down by ICE and deported in 2011. Now, along with thousands of others recently deported from the U.S., Vivar works at Telvista, a call center and one of the […]

Feeling powerless: one deported migrant’s story from Tijuana
Migrant Stories

Feeling powerless: one deported migrant’s story from Tijuana

Jose Luis Cisneros’s face still bears the marks of the violence he suffered more than 10 years ago. Cisneros, now in his mid-50s, spent 20 years working as a migrant farm worker in Washington, Oregon and California, crossing back and forth following the harvests. But Cisneros’s life changed dramatically in […]

Life in the borderlands: families separated by paperwork and a wall
Migrant Stories

Life in the borderlands: families separated by paperwork and a wall

For fourteen years, Claudia Medrano and Yovanic Quiñones have lived the back and forth life of the frontera. In 2000, they moved to San Diego with their kids, two children born in Mexico. Then another child was born in San Diego, and now the couple is back in Tijuana. But […]

Life in the Canal: hard life of the deported homeless in Tijuana
Border Wall / Migrant Stories

Life in the Canal: hard life of the deported homeless in Tijuana

In 2012, the Obama administration deported 409,849 people living in the United States without proper immigration status. By 2014, estimates suggest that Obama will have deported 2 million. The American people cheer this effort and offer simple moral platitudes: “They knew the risks, they were here illegally. Let’s round up their […]

Checkpoint Nation? Building Community Across Borders
Border Wall / Migrant Stories

Checkpoint Nation? Building Community Across Borders

In the wake of panic and anti-immigrant hysteria following the murder of Arizona rancher Robert Krentz in March of 2010, Arizona legislators passed SB1070, the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, one month later on April 23, 2010. The broadest and strictest anti-illegal immigration measure in recent U.S. […]

Mario from Guerrero
Border Wall / Migrant Stories

Mario from Guerrero

Today I hung out with a guy named Mario along the border wall near the footbridge at Los Laureles Canyon.  He was hiking up the path from the culvert carrying a bolero kit, and I laughed and asked him if he gets much business shining shoes out here along the wall. […]

Border Patrol brutality
Border Wall / Migrant Stories

Border Patrol brutality

There’s nothing more idyllic than rural areas along the border in Baja California and San Diego County. Yellow blossoms blanket the ground for miles in the springtime, and once outside of the dense colonias of Tijuana, sleepy little settlements of a few homes are scattered here and there around Tecate. […]

Outside the wall
Migrant Stories

Outside the wall

In Tijuana’s Zona Norte, the north end of Avenida Lucrecia Toriz has been sealed up with a concrete cinder block wall. The effect is abrupt, a rude interruption, creating a dead space piled with trash where street dogs gather to pick through the ruins. In fact, lots of streets facing […]

El Norte
Border Wall / Friendship Park / Migrant Stories

El Norte

In a small grove of trees sliced in two by the rough iron bars of the border wall, a little boy looking northward has left his car. Here, in La Cañada de Los Sauces, just a few hundred yards east of Friendship Park, migrants wait and watch for their opportunity to cross. The […]

DESERTED
Border Wall / Migrant Stories

DESERTED

Join Breakthrough and filmmakers Dana Variano and Ishita Srivastava and raise your voice against one of the most pressing human rights tragedies today: the everyday deaths of migrants crossing through the deserts and mountains of the southwest United States. “The remains of at least 6,000 migrants have been found in U.S. desert […]