The Line Becomes a River
I thought I had a very clear opinion about “The Wall” before I read this timely book by new author Francisco Cantu. It (“The Wall”) was ridiculous; a waste of money and resources, inhumane and destined to fail. My feelings haven’t exactly changed, but Cantu’s observations in The Line Becomes a River, raises the consideration that some of the human tragedies that play out day after day might be eliminated if such a barrier existed. His observations while serving in the field as a Border Agent are heart-wrenching. His graphic descriptions of desperate people dying of dehydration, being duped and sometimes murdered by human traffickers, making dangerous and often life-threatening decisions to cross into the U.S. makes the case that a wall may be a humane solution to an overwhelming problem. He does not shirk from confronting the obvious moral dilemma; lack of economic opportunity, gang violence, and the myriad of other reasons people are driven from Central America to make this arduous journey in the first place. I had an ongoing image in my mind while reading this book; that of salmon struggling to swim upstream despite the tremendous odds of making it safely to the headwaters where they had spawned. That same innate drive is apparent in these struggling people and Cantu does an admirable job in looking at both sides of a complex issue in a compassionate way.
Editor's Note: This is a subject that has been long-argued-- since Trump made it a key issue in his 2016 campaign. Cantu's account is timely, with President Trump in California viewing wall "samples" today, and the "60 Minutes on the Border" report this past Sunday, March 11th. Cantu brings forth an important perspective.
Review by Sarah Ehrenson