border issues

Ross Brothers

If you’re looking for talking heads in Bill and Turner Ross’s documentaries, you won’t find them. Their documentaries capture the essence of the people and places they film, from nocturnal New Orleans to a small Ohio town. Their latest portrait, Western, was shot in Eagle Pass and Piedras Negras, Mexico. The Ross brothers were there as the twin communities, united in one culture, slowly fractured from encroaching border violence and the construction of the border fence.

The drug war in Mexico continues to takes lives. Streets along the border have become battle fields as cartels challenge each other for territory and clash with the Mexican military forces. Sometimes it takes fiction to explain and decipher the impact of the harsh realities like the drug war. It's able bring to the page the maelstrom of emotions of what’s it like to be collateral damage in this conflict that’s tearing your motherland apart.

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Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

When President Obama announced sweeping changes to the immigration system, this was the first thing on his list.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

Fifty years ago, the United States shrank by a single square mile. It all happened where the Rio Grande divides El Paso and Ciudad Juárez in Mexico.

Ever since Texas became a state, the river has been the border between the two countries. But rivers can move — and that's exactly what happened in 1864, when torrential rains caused it to jump its banks and go south. Suddenly the border was in a different place, and Texas had gained 700 acres of land called the Chamizal (pronounced chah-mee-ZAHL), so named for a type of plant that grew there.

  The Texas National Guard is refuting news reports that its troops sent to the border to assist in Operation Strong Safety have been going to the food banks because they can’t afford to eat.

Responding to claims by the Rio Grande Valley Food Bank that 50 members of the National Guard had requested food assistance, the National Guard office in Austin says it has internal provisions for Guard members that have financial hardship.

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