The Border Patrol Ate My Dust

The Border Patrol Ate My Dust

The Border Patrol Ate My Dust

The Border Patrol Ate My Dust


"Southern California radio personality, Alicia Alarcon, invited her immigrant listeners to call in and share their stories. In this collection, Alarcon has recorded the footsteps of these travelers across deserts and rivers, as the narrators suffer hunger and hostility on their way to a fabled "America," land of opportunity." "These intriguing but heartbreaking tales are narrated by young and old, men and women who must overcome the nearly impossible as they hope to find a better place than the one they've left behind. Through gritty details and sly humor, these stories are poignant recollections of making it across, past the natural and the man-made obstacles along the border, as well as cries of frustration about the lives they forge once here in the U.S. of A." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved


The day that my father came home with the news that they had closed the factory was the same day that President José López Portillo proclaimed the beginning of a new era of prosperity for Mexico and all of its people. The president said, “Every Mexican citizen must know that 1979 is a year of economic prosperity. No one need doubt that Mexico is on its way toward progress and that our nation has vanquished the dark forces which had hoped to tie it down to the past.” He also stated, “Mexico is the only country in the world in which three super giant petroleum deposits have been discovered, in this decade alone.”

One week earlier, the San Luis Potosí newspapers had published articles about the surge in petroleum production in Chicontepec, Veracruz; Sabinas, Coahuila; and the Gulf of Mexico. During his speech, the president promised, “The petroleum bonanza will reach every corner of the Mexican republic.”

“Do you believe anything that the president is saying?” asked my father.

I was seventeen years old, and I believed everything that I heard, except for what the president had to say. I had heard my mother say time and time again, “Promises, promises … they never do anything.” And so I replied, “No, Pop. Promises, promises … they never do anything.”

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