The Wind Doesn’t Need a Passport

Book Cover Photo

 A “vivid, evocative book.”  
– Adam Hochschild

The Wind Doesn’t Need a Passport: Stories from the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, by award-winning journalist Tyche Hendricks, was published by the University of California Press in June 2010. Hendricks, a veteran immigration reporter, shows that decisions about how we handle the border and immigration have wide-ranging implications.

From a distance, the border looks like a dividing line. In fact, it’s a binational region – more borderlands than borderline. Many people have lives on both sides: they cross daily for work, school, family, shopping. Pollution and disease flow back and forth. Extensive trade and economic activity tie the United States and Mexico together. And there’s a shared history and culture.

But with a stalled immigration policy and a raging drug war, it’s the people who live in the borderlands who are bearing the brunt of the violence and the political friction. The renewed debate about immigration has focused attention on the U.S.-Mexico border once again. Hendricks brings a fresh perspective to one of the most debated and least understood of regions.

Hendricks traveled through the borderlands and gathered remarkable stories — from emergency rooms and factory floors, farm kitchens and jail cells. She saw American and Mexican cowboys, environmentalists, doctors and nuns wrestling with shared binational problems. A better understanding of the border – and the way the United States and Mexico are connected there – could help policymakers reach more lasting solutions that benefit both countries.