Book Review: A Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border

Published not long ago, but still before the explosion of tragic news about immigrants arrested at the border, A Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border is the work of Francisco Cantú, a former Border Patrol agent. Beautifully written and with an obvious empathy for the migrants that Cantú was required to arrest, the book is not an expose of the Border Patrol. Rather, it is a collection of stories and a moving tribute to those who have crossed the border under life-threatening conditions. Compared with the controversy that surrounds the Border Patrol, including officer involved deaths of migrants, this book could nearly be dismissed as irrelevant. Cantú and his book have not been immune from public contention surrounding his service with the Border Patrol: activists, objecting to the idea that he would profit from his time with the agency, demonstrated at a book signing in San Francisco.