Lance Cortez

Stories from the Southern Border

Mentor: Paul Mena

In October of 2018, a caravan of approximately 10,000 Central American migrants arrived at the U.S. Southern Border in hopes of presenting themselves for asylum. Almost instantly, the caravan garnered the attention of every U.S. media outlet, opening a floodgate of news coverage on its development: overflown migrant shelters filled with vulnerable families, individuals, and unaccompanied children; hostile encounters with U.S. Border Agents; and the continued politicization of the humanitarian crisis by the Trump administration. Yet, in the following two months, coverage slowly began to fade. Meanwhile, caravans continued to flow north while thousands of hopeful migrants remained at our southern border awaiting opportunity. 

Following the initial caravan, what has come of the ‘crisis’ at the Southern Border? How has the story developed for the thousands of Central American migrants that have and continue to seek refuge behind our borders? What kind of actions have states and humanitarian organizations taken in response? Drawing on journalistic methods, my project will seek to continue this narrative by developing a comprehensive and multifaceted investigation of the on-going conditions at the Southern Border. Specific dimensions that I plan on covering include the legal state of affairs, vulnerability to crime and violence, humanitarian assistance, and the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic. By the end of the year, my goal is to have produced a written piece for publication supplemented by a multimedia component.

See Lance’s website Stories from the Southern Border