A Journey Across Borders with America's Illegal Migrants

From the book jacket: “We were nowhere—there was nothing around. We worried we had been betrayed, abandoned for reasons unknown. The desert sky was clear, and the temperature soon up in the eighties. All my clothing made me look sick, like an invalid—and, because of the way I sweated, I did indeed feel feverish.

‘You’re scared, aren’t you,’ said Jesús.

‘Scared?’ My companions were not always New Age males, admiring of those who shared their feelings and vulnerabilities. ‘No, I’m not scared. I’m just fucking hot.’ I thought that sounded convincing.

I asked, ‘You’ve been through this a lot. Don’t these guys ever scare you?’

Jesús shrugged. ‘Not too much. The money is the main thing. The gun is for that—to make sure we pay, after they do their part of the deal.”

To discover what becomes of Mexicans who desperately slip into the United States, Ted Conover walked across deserts, hid in orange orchards, and waded through the Rio Grande. This electrifying account is the harrowing vision of a way of life no outsider has ever seen before. Read more »

  • TC and some of the group who crossed at Sonoita. Photo by Phil Decker.

  • TC in Ahuacatlán. Photo by Phil Decker.

  • Oliverio making huaraches.

  • Church in Ahuacatlán.