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Return to Borderland

YO! Youth Outlook Multimedia, Photo Essay, Ryan Furtado Posted: Dec 01, 2006

Arizona has become a battlefront in the war over U.S. border security. As high traffic illegal immigration and drug trafficking points such as Yuma, AZ, El Paso, TX, and San Diego, CA grew increasingly regulated after 1994's Operation Gatekeeper and the massive wake of 9/11, undocumented immigrants and drug traffickers looked for an alternate route to cross the U.S./Mexico border. A route that is located on Arizonas southern border comprised of a vast scrub desert dotted with fields of Saguaro cacti and oasis-like mountain ranges.


Entering the Sonoran desert of southern Arizona, urban reality fades giving way to frontier Americana. Political lines have been etched into the landscape in a region that has been under continuous contention ever since international borders were drawn. As sand and scrub brush fill the horizon, the immigration debate ceases to become a debate at all. It becomes reality unfolding.

The battle over illegal immigration and drug trafficking has created its own microcosm, a region with its own sub-culture that has been continually evolving since it was birthed when two nations came crashing together. It is a place I call Borderland.

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