Reader’s Forum — Jessica Marta and Steve Guarin

Jessica Marta

In the United States we have been told that migrants cross the border every day to take advantage of the opportunities here, maybe even to take away our jobs. But we seldom see what they are running away from: violence, poverty and inhumanity

In a quote by one of the books characters, a friend of the author who had gone back to Mexico to see his dying mother and is now unable to return to the US and his family “When I really started to think about it, I realized that as a good father, I could never bring my boys here. I think a lot about the environment here in Mexico. Here it is normal for children to hear of murder. There’s a school right down the street down here, I walk by it every day. I see the children in the schoolyard play at killing.”

Jessica Marta is an independent activist with Independent Voting and the New York City Independence Clubs. She lives in Manhattan and is an Adult Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner.

Image by Rafael Oseguera from Pixabay

Steve Guarin


Before I actually started reading this book I thought it would simply be about the author, Francisco Cantu, performing a balancing act, as a Border Patrol Agent, between his ethnicity and the country of his birth. I expected to see the gringo’s brutality performed by the very force he had joined.

However, he felt he was qualified to help people, “I speak both languages, I know both cultures.” Unfortunately, his concern became about the job and getting good at it. “What that meant, he could figure out later”.

In his four years with the Border Patrol, Cantu witnessed disquieting events to those who desperately tried to cross the border. After 4 years, he leaves the Border Patrol and eventually becomes friends with a Mexican national, Jose. As it turns out, José crosses back into Mexico to visit his dying mother and is arrested trying to reenter the USA. Francisco, because of his relationship with José, is now a participant, which is very ironic, since the job he aspired to and felt would put him in a position to continue being helpful, came with a catch. To the Border Patrol, a job well done hinged on how many people you arrested and returned over the border, people like his amigo José.

Steve Guarin lives in the Bronx. He is retired and an activist with the New York City Independence Clubs.


Francisco Cantu

Politics for the People
Conference Call
The Line Becomes a River
With Author Francisco Cantú
Sunday, June 2nd at 7 pm EST.
Call in number: 605-313-5156
Passcode 767775#


Founder of the Politics for the People free educational series and book club for independent voters. Chair of the New York County Independence Party.

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