New York: Vintage Books, 2004. 1st ed. Paperback. 8vo, wrps, 256 p., index, bibl., notes, maps. New. Item #154824
In May 2001, two dozen Mexican workers struck out across the U.S. border, plunging into the forbidding desert of southern Arizona with little water. Three days later, following a frenzied search by U.S. Border Patrol agents, fourteen were found dead. The Yuma tragedy seized national headlines, but it was just one more example of the high-stakes game that crossing and guarding America's southern border has become. Since the mid-nineteenth century, the U.S.-Mexico border has been rife with intrigue, lore, and tragedy. In Hard Line, Ken Ellingwood brings this region to life with an intimacy that eludes the daily news. A former border correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, Ellingwood tells the stories of undocumented immigrants, American ranchers, and townspeople overwhelmed by an influx of border crossers; of the Native Americans whose land is cut in two by this modern boundary; and of border agents and human-rights workers struggling to prevent more tragedies. He captures the symbiotic relationships between towns on opposite sides of the border, where residents have long crossed between countries as easily as crossing a street.