Objects from the Borderlands

11 hours ago
SUSAN HARGAGE PAGE, North Carolina /

In 2007 I began making yearly trips/pilgrimages to walk the border and photograph objects left behind by undocumented migrants crossing the U.S–Mexico border between Matamoros, Mexico, and Brownsville, Texas. My work takes an ever-evolving imagined space and concretizes it as a collection of specific objects, first as they are found and photographed in the landscape, then as they are re-photographed and archived, and, finally, as they are united in exhibitions.

Our Neighbors - Marcos Morales Part Two

Oct 2, 2016

Marcos: My name is Marcos Morales Satino.  I am glad to share my story with Radio Readers Book Club.

Greta: Please tell us the about the life of your family that is still in Guatemala.  What kind of life do they live compared to the life that you are living today in Dodge City?

Faith, Family and Endurance in the Face of Danger

Oct 2, 2016

In 2013 there were over 3 million Central American immigrants living in the U.S. Each year hundreds of immigrants die while attempting to cross the southern U.S. border. From 2014 to July, 31 2015 alone, 72,968 unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras were apprehended at the U.S. border with Mexico.  “Each year the Obama administration has seen more deportations than any preceding president”[1].

One Neighbor's Story - Looking Back

Sep 21, 2016
ESTHER HONIG / KCUR 89.3 - Harvest Public Media

Greta Clark serves at the Director of Multicultural Programs at Dodge City Community College.  In the course of her work, she hears the stories of many immigrants who’ve come to the U.S. in search of better lives, safety, and goals and dreams.  Here she talks with one student who’s made a career translating for the district court and for immigration. He states that he is independent and has a job helping people resolve their problems.

The Plains Belongs to Anyone Hardy Enough

Sep 14, 2016

My name is Megan Hope. I’m a native of Garden City, Kansas, now living in Denver, Colorado. I’ve spent most of the last two decades working among immigrant communities, a path that has everything to do with growing up on the High Plains.  

As I was settling into grade school in the early 1980s, southwest Kansas was being transformed by an influx of Latino immigrants and resettled Southeast Asian refugees, the primary workforce for two new meatpacking plants.

Metrocosm / Washington Post

Immigration has been a hot-button issue throughout the 2016 presidential race. But, according to surveys, Americans actually know very little about the issue.

The Washington Post recently noted that it was “remarkable just how much Americans overestimate immigration in their country.” On average, Americans guessed that one-third of people in the U.S. are immigrants. That’s more than double the actual figure.

Library of Congress

The Great Plains is its own eco-niche with distinctive plants, mammals, birds, weather, and history that constantly evolve. Its human population is as dynamic as these other unique factors. Those of us whose families have lived here for generations understand the world Willa Cather describes in My Antonia. Our families lived her stories. When we read them, we wonder how we got where we are today.

Ancient Seas to Borders

Aug 5, 2016
J.W. Buell (1889)

High Plains Public Radio will soon begin its Fall Radio Readers Book Club.  The theme this time is Borders and Becoming.  Here’s a brief appreciation of the unique land mass found in books which embrace our “wide-openness.”

Radio Readers 2016 Fall Read

Aug 5, 2016

Join us for the HPPR Radio Readers Fall Read Stories: Borders and Becoming.  The books include Willa Cather’s My Antonia, Sonya Nazario’s Enrique’s Journey, and Dave Egger’s What is the What.  To let us know what you’re thinking about our diverse ethnic culture here on the High Plains, join the discussion on the HPPR Radio Readers  Facebook page or listen to the BookByte Features aired Monday, Wednesday and Friday  during Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Terry Jeanson / Texas Escapes

Immigration in Texas doesn’t seem to be slowing, notes The LA Times. Almost 45,000 immigrants have crossed the border since October, most from Central America. The small Texas town of Alice has found itself reeling after the oil bust, and the influx of immigrants hasn’t helped the town’s fortunes. But now a British correctional company has offered itself up as an “unexpected savior.”

Tim Patterson / Texas Tribune

Americans are moving to Texas from other states in droves, reports The Texas Tribune. From 2005 to 2013, almost six million people moved to Texas, and five million of those came from one of the other 49 states. That means Texas grew by an average of 345 people per day during that period—and the influx hasn’t abated.

Sam Hodgson / Reuters

A new study has found that people who back Ted Cruz for president seem less culturally anxious about immigration than those who back Trump. The PRRI / The Atlantic poll suggests the answer to that question is helping to shape the presidential race.

Luis Romero / Flickr Creative Commons

Of regional interest, there are currently more Mexicans leaving the U.S. than coming in, reports Texas Standard. Even so, last year immigrants in the US sent $56 billion to their families back home, an astoundingly high amount.

Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Three weeks ago the federal government took 121 people into custody. The raid was part of a multi-state roundup of Central American families, reports The Guardian. Now seven of those detainees, who are being held in a Texas facility, have written a letter to Barack Obama. In the open letter, the immigrants plead for mercy and freedom for their families.

Creative Commons

The U.S. has two long traditions that have recently been battling for the public heart. We are a nation of immigrants, a melting pot, and we have a long history of welcoming refugees with open arms. But we also have another tradition, of locking down our borders from fear of outsiders.

Jose Luis Gonzalez / Reuters

A contingent in America has recently decided that the U.S. would be better off if we tried to slow the diversification of our population. But Atlantic offshoot reports there is a sea of evidence that suggests otherwise.

David Scott Holloway / CNN/EPA

An editorial in The Guardian posed an interesting question last week. Most Hispanics vote Democrat, so why are so many Hispanic politicians Republican? Cindy Casares, a columnist for the Texas Observer, says it sometimes comes down to nationality.

Kansas to Take in 777 Refugees

Sep 28, 2015
AP photo

Kansas is expected to take in 777 refugees this year, according to The Topeka Capital-Journal. Of that number, 90 will settle in southwest Kansas, mostly in Finney, Ford and Seward counties. Various organizations throughout Kansas are working with the refugees, helping them to start over in the heartland.

Texas to Receive Syrian Immigrants

Sep 16, 2015

Texans could soon be greeting some new neighbors from the other side of the world. According to The Texas Tribune, as strife in the Middle East continues to grow, the Lone Star State could see an influx of Syrian refugees fleeing their war-ravaged country. In fact, the resettlement has already begun, as 123 Syrians have come to Texas since last October. But that number is small compared to what’s coming.

In regional news, state and public college employees in Texas now have a new gauntlet to pass through during the hiring process, reports The Texas Tribune. As of September 1st, state hires will have their information run through a verification system managed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Once a regular dining option, a mix of cultural and economic factors pushed lamb off the American dinner table. To put the meat back on the menu, ranchers and retailers are being encouraged to reach out to a more diverse set of consumers, specifically American Muslims and Latinos.

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

When Jon Slutsky’s dairy farm in Wellington, Colo. is fully staffed, it’s a moment to celebrate. A full roster of employees at Slutsky’s La Luna Dairy is rare these days.

“We’re doing really well with our employee base,” Slutsky said. “A year ago, we couldn’t say that. We were short.”

With the farm’s 1,500 cows waiting to be milked, Slutsky and his wife Susan Moore felt panicked, worried they didn’t have enough hands on deck to milk about 200 cows per hour.

Megan Verlee /

As of yesterday there’s only one place in Colorado for undocumented immigrants to get a driver’s license reports Colorado Public Radio.

The licensing program is funded by an extra fee charged on undocumented immigrant driver’s licenses, but the DMV needs approval from the legislature’s budget committee before spending the money its collected.

Despite concerns that the undocumented immigrant population in Texas is growing, it’s remained stable in recent years reports the Texas Tribune. 

In fact, more than half of the state’s undocumented immigrants have lived in Texas for more than 10 years according to data from the Migration Policy Institute.

Texas has the second-largest undocumented immigrant population in the country—about 1.5 million people.  California has about twice as many.

Alan Gomez / USA TODAY

Garden City is in national news.  A reporter from USA Today came to the southwestern Kansas community talking with residents about the impact President Obama’s immigration plan would have.  Some said it would allow undocumented immigrants live without the worry of being picked up by immigration officers.  Some worry there will be an exodus as they look for better jobs in other parts of the country. 

Kansas Department of Revenue

President Obama’s executive action to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program could lead to some unauthorized immigrants having the necessary identification to obtain a Kansas driver’s license.

The size of the unauthorized immigrant population in Colorado and Kansas fell between 2009 and 2012 and stayed the same in Texas and Oklahoma, according to an updated tracking report from the Pew Center for Research. 

Survey says most Texans favor voter ID

Oct 28, 2014

Two-thirds of registered Texas voters have a favorable opinion of the state’s voter photo ID law, and more than half have a “very favorable” view, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

In a dimly-lit lab on the Des Moines, Iowa, public schools’ agricultural science campus, students in aprons, safety goggles and plastic gloves poke and probe chicken wings. About 15 girls and just one boy in this vet careers class are looking for ligaments, tendons, cartilage and other features of this animal part that teenagers more often experience cooked and covered in barbecue sauce.

A 17-year old senior, with her hair pulled back in a ponytail for the dissection, high-fives her lab partner when they identify the ligament and show it to their teacher. This young woman is a chapter officer in the Des Moines FFA group and recently got elected to a district-wide leadership position. She’s already earned a full scholarship to Iowa State University and aspires to be a large animal veterinarian with her own small cattle herd.