The Border Patrol Ate My Dust


by Alicia Alarcón

English translation by Ethriam Cash Brammer de Gonzales

ISBN: 978-1-55885-432-1
Publication Date: September 30,2004
Bind: Trade Paperback
Pages: 224

First-hand recollections of Mexican and Latin American immigrants’ struggles to cross the border into the U.S.

Look Inside


In 1979, Mexican President José López Portilla assured his compatriots that the prosperity of the petroleum boom would reach every corner of the Republic of Mexico.  The young narrator of the first passage listens agape at the president’s statements, while his work-weary parents contemplate a trip to el Norte.  When the promised prosperity doesn’t reach the corners of San Luis Potosí, the narrator sets out with his father to try to improve their finances.  With the dream of the wealthy Hollywood that he sees on television tucked in his pocket, he, along with the other narrators in this collection of testimonials, struggles to reach the United States.

Radio personality Alicia Alarcón invited listeners who had migrated to the United States to call and share their stories. In these pages, Alarcón collects the footsteps of these travelers, through their flight and their falls.  Their stories highlight the true American experience for immigrants from all over South and Central America who decide to leave their respective homelands.

These intriguing but heartbreaking passages reveal young and old, men and women, who must overcome the impossible as they hope to find a better place than the one they’ve left behind.  These difficult and gritty stories are the stories of the successful, the ones who make it across, past the natural and the bureaucratic obstacles along the border, only to scratch together lives on the other side.