How Undocumented Immigrants Get Trapped in The Border’s ‘Golden Cage’

Inland checkpoints up to a hundred miles from the border have trapped families living in the Rio Grande Valley, stuck between Mexico and the rest of Texas.

By Rhonda FanningNovember 25, 2015 9:30 am, ,

La jaula de oro – “the golden cage” – is what many call the region just over the Mexican border, as far as a hundred miles into Texas.

Border Patrol agents set up interior checkpoints there, and for years that’s where thousands of undocumented immigrants have been trapped in what one reporter calls a “twilight zone.”

Manny Fernandez, Houston bureau chief for The New York Times, says this region along the Rio Grande Valley, north of the Mexican border, is home to undocumented immigrants who live in Texas.

“Essentially these families are trapped between these checkpoints and the border,” he says. “The idea of going north is this idea that scares some of them… they don’t go back and forth to Mexico for various reasons. So they end up living in the Rio Grande Valley but never really traveling beyond it.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– Why these families have come over one border but are afraid to cross the “second border”

– What immigrants would confront in trying to pass the inland checkpoints and why they don’t want to risk it

– How this population has gotten stuck as an after-effect of having the checkpoints for at least a decade longer