Fronteras

Fridays at 12 noon and Sundays at 9 p.m.

"Fronteras" is a Texas Public Radio program exploring the changing culture and demographics of the American Southwest. From Texas to New Mexico and California, "Fronteras" provides insight into life along the U.S.- Mexico border. Our stories examine unique regional issues affecting lifestyle, politics, economics and the environment.

Ways to Connect

Emily Bogel / NPR

This week on Fronteras:

We continue our conversation with Francisco Cantú, former Border Patrol agent and author of “The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border.”

The book recounts Cantú’s time patrolling the deserts of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, where he encountered drug smugglers, as well as immigrants looking for better lives in the U.S.

In part two of our interview:

  • Cantu recounts his time living and working in El Paso.
  • The stresses of the job are revealed in nightmares (3.07 ).
  • Realizing it was time to leave the agency (4.34).
  • Why writing was a way to come to terms with internal struggles from his job (7.40).
  • Befriending Jose Martinez, an undocumented immigrant after leaving the agency (10.06).
  • Reads an excerpt from the book recounting Martinez’s deportation courtroom hearing (13.42).
  • Why immigrants like Martinez are determined to cross into the U.S. despite increased border security (17.25).


This week on Fronteras:

A conversation with Francisco Cantú, former Border Patrol agent and author of “The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border.”

He begins by talking about becoming an agent in 2008 and what he witnessed in the harsh Arizona desert. Cantú also discusses the inspiration behind the title “The Line Becomes a River” (3:35), and why he felt he needed to join the Border Patrol to understand immigration issues (6:30)

From his first days as a field agent in the Tucson (11:19) to tales of the immigrants he encountered in the field (16:36) to Cantú's eventual transfer to El Paso, where he begins to see how U.S. immigration policy “weaponizes the landscape.” 


Norma Martinez / Texas Public Radio

As poet laureate of San Antonio, Jenny Browne was required to create a signature initiative.  

That project became “St. Anthony’s Lost and Found,” which features a postcard exhibit that invites visitors to read poems written on the small rectangular cards, and — if they’re inspired — to leave a poem.  

Norma Martinez / Texas Public Radio

This week on Fronteras:

  • Despite uncertainty surrounding the future of the border wall, security companies are getting a leg up on offering the latest technologies.
  • Wildlife officials are putting up another barrier on the border — against rabies, that is (2:18).
  • San Antonio poet laureate Jenny Browne creates a poetry exchange and art display highlighting San Antonio’s hidden history (6:48).
  • A San Antonio art exhibit gives a ‘voz’ to the Latino immigrant experience (15:05).
  • Remembering the art historian who created one of the largest collections of Spanish art in Texas (17:19).


UTSA Dreamers Resource Center

The  Dreamers Resource Center at the University of Texas at San Antonio offers assistance to recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and other undocumented students attending the university. 

Fronteras spoke to Courtney Balderas-Jacob, interim program manager for the Dreamer Resource Center, and Jaciel Castro, a student regent with the University of Texas System Board of Regents and graduate student at the UTSA College of Business.  Castro is a former dreamer who is applying for U.S. citizenship. 


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