At first, I was thrown by the big smiles on the faces of volunteers welcoming people arriving from the detention center. I was doing my best to choke back tears. How could they be so cheery? Then I realized that we were the first friendly faces these wearily travelers had seen in a very long […]

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I thought I knew what to expect. I did my research. I talked to people who have been here. I mentally prepared. Now I know that nothing nothing can prepare someone for this experience. My first 24 hours have been an emotional rollercoaster. On the one hand, I’ve met some of the most compassionate and […]



Like many of us, this summer when I first heard of the Administration’s family separation policy, I felt like I had been sucker-punched. For the past several months, my emotions have been much closer to the surface whenever the topic came up. Deep down, I knew I would eventually visit the border and try to […]


The ICE drop off

500 people per day were dropped off by ICE at the McAllen bus station on Monday and Tuesday this week. This kind of volume is way more than volunteers are used to seeing and it also overwhelms the staff of the bus companies, the security guards at the station, the respite center run by Catholic […]

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One dollar, 25 cents

When I make a round trip to Mexico and back across the Rio Grande it costs me $1.25. One dollar on the US side to leave for Mexico. 25 cents on the Mexico side to enter the US. For the average asylum seeker I met today, the price was higher: $6,000 for the coyote to […]

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Fame and Misfortune

The story in the New York Times broke about 6PM here in Texas. This was just moments before Eli Fernandez and I rounded the corner by the Brownsville bus station to find a crowd of six volunteers celebrating in a small parking lot. Between strapping down blankets on a handcart and carefully packing hot food […]

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Once more unto the breach

So I am going back to the border. American Airlines flight 390 from San Francisco to Dallas passes over the vast expanse of America. Stretched out beyond my little window is a tapestry of hills and valleys, rivers and lakes, towns and cities. But mostly it’s a big emptiness with roads that look like they […]

Read More Once more unto the breach