border everywhere

AUDIO: Melissa del Bosque and Rachel Poser on Border Patrol’s Unchecked Mission Creep

Listen to reporter Melissa del Bosque and Harper's editor Rachel Poser discuss del Bosque's groundbreaking feature, “Checkpoint Nation.”


On October 8, the Texas Observer published a powerful look at what’s come to be known as the border zone — a buffer of about 100 miles that runs along any U.S. border — where U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been given free reign to trample on constitutional rights in the name of security. The details are harrowing, and CBP’s infringement on basic civil rights is disturbing. Some 200 million Americans live within this zone, including Laura Sandoval, who spoke with the Observer under a pseudonym. Without cause, Sandoval was detained and subjected to a traumatic cavity search. “We don’t need a warrant,” a CBP officer told her. This project is a collaboration with Harper’s Magazine, the first in that outlet’s esteemed history.

Reporter Melissa del Bosque discussed the piece with Harper’s associate editor Rachel Poser in Austin at the North Door on Tuesday, October 30. Listen to audio of the event below.