The Outline | Border Commuters

(aka what it’s like to cross the US-Mexico border for work)

Photo credit: Alexia Webster

Despite the mystique and (lately) toxicity that the U.S.-Mexico border represents for most Americans, the sometimes visible line that separates the U.S.-Mexico is mundane for a small group of commuters that live on one side and work or study on the other.

With the support of a reporting grant from the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF), I set out with photojournalist Alexia Webster to share another, more mundane side of America’s southern border.

"On the Mexican side of San Ysidro Port of Entry on the border of California, traffic starts backing up long before the sun rises. Commuters shift their gears into park; lower their seatbacks for pre-dawn naps; buy Mexican grilled corn or burritos from street vendors; and listen to roving musicians strumming traditional norteño ballads — anything to help pass the time as they wait to enter the United States for the start of the American work day."