Last Updated on June 25, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 294
Francisco Cantú’s mother questions his choice to become a “border cop” after having completed college. Studying international relations, he tells her, he has learned about the border’s history and related policies, but it hasn't been enough:
You can tell anybody whoever asks that I’m tired of studying, I’m tired of reading about the border in books. I want to be on the ground, out in the field. I want to see the realities of the border day in, day out.
Cantú finds that many of the US Border Patrol trainees are unprepared for the job they have to do. Drinking some beers together one afternoon, they talk about things they left behind, like cold Northern winters, and what they anticipate, such as the hot Arizona summer.
Have you ever felt 115-degree heat? Hell no, Hart answered. Well, I told him, we’ll be out in it, fetching dead bodies from the desert. Hart looked puzzled. Who the fuck walks through the desert when it’s 115? he asked.
Hart had not heard that people walk across the desert at any time of year, trying to avoid the walls and checkpoints. His distance from the crisis at the border mirrors that of many other Americans.
Speaking with Mexican people who had crossed the border multiple times, either returning to Mexico voluntarily or getting deported, Cantú learns of their perseverance to be reunited with family members in the United States. One man says:
They can take my money, they can rob my family, they can lock me away, but I will keep coming back. I will keep crossing, again and again, until I make it, until I am together again with my family. No, no me quedo aquí. Voy a seguir intentando pasar.
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