Francisco Cantu is Aspen Words’ Writer-in-Residence this month. Tuesday evening, he’ll discuss his bestselling memoir “The Line Becomes A River: Dispatches from the Border.”
Cantu signed up with the US Border Patrol because he wanted to understand immigration policy at the ground level. He served from 2008 to 2012, and the experience took a heavy toll on him. Writing the book was a way for him to process the suffering he saw.
"I wrote the book to come to terms with what it means to participate in an immigration system that I think is broken and that I think perpetuates a lot of violence against the people crossing the border,” said Cantu.
He said that although the border may seem distant to his Colorado audience Tuesday night, it reaches into people’s lives all over the nation.
“When there’s an ICE raid, or when someone gets pulled over and turned over to immigration authorities, that’s like the border extending and re-inserting itself into that person’s life,” he said.
The memoir details his personal connection with both the people he was trying to stop from crossing, as well as his fellow border agents.