border issues

Kainaz Amaria / NPR

Fronteras: A conversation with "Morning Edition" host Steve Inskeep, who joins us to talk about NPR’s Borderland series: stories about the people, goods and culture that cross back and forth across the U.S.-Mexico border. Mónica Ortiz Uribe introduces us to the Barrio Aztecas of El Paso, one of the more frightening gangs that operate on the border. Lent is a time of spiritual reflection, but it also means a change in diet for those who take part. Fronteras commentator Yvette Benavides tells us about how the foods of lent can be sinfully good.



About midway through our road trip along the U.S./Mexico border, my colleagues and I rode up a mountain. Okay. Should we hop in?


INSKEEP: We boarded a tram car suspended by a cable.

KAINAZ AMARIA: Are we going that way?

We had just finished our time in Juarez, Mexico, when we had dinner with some distant relations on the U.S. side of the border. "You," one of my relatives said, "are the first Juarez survivors we've seen in some time."

The international drug trade goes in two directions: Narcotics go north and money goes south. All the drug profits made on the streets of U.S. cities like Chicago and Atlanta and Dallas are funneled down to ports of entry on the U.S.-Mexico border where they're smuggled back into Mexico. In 2012, one federal agency alone, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, seized $411 million in cash hidden in vehicles, mostly heading south.

Farmers and ranchers from across the United States are calling for action on immigration reform. The Texas Farm Bureau is asking Congress to “get ‘er done” to help farmers compete.

Texas Farm Bureau State Director Russell Boening runs a dairy farm just south of San Antonio. But this week he is in Washington, D.C., at the National Press Club talking about immigration reform.

“Some of our labor is going to have to be imported or more of our food is going to be imported. So I hope we can get that message across to all of our leaders," he said.