Francisco Cantú is an author and former US Border Patrol agent. A former Fulbright fellow, Cantú's work has appeared in Best American Essays 2016, Orion, Ploughshares, Guernica, and Public Books, where he is a contributing editor. His forthcoming book, The Line Becomes a River, it due out from Riverhead in 2018.
Francisco and I recorded several interviews between January and May of 2016 and, like any series of long conversations, they could have been edited into a multitude of different stories. Of course, 2016 was a radically different political world and the questions I asked then are different than the ones I would ask today. Because of that, I have focused this episode on a single moment of reflection, the one that has remained vividly in my memory ever since the interview.