Each year, tens of thousands of people leave their countries and make the journey to the United States. This mass displacement of people is a consequence of western imperialism, neoliberalism, capitalism, and colonialism.
“Prevention through Deterrence”, a US border enforcement policy from the 1990s, forces people to cross the most remote and dangerous areas of the US- Mexico border. Under this policy, the United States has increased border militarization, created new physical barriers, and increased restrictions at traditional ports of entry to intentionally push travel through the most isolated areas of the Southwest. The increasing criminalization of humanitarian aid workers and destruction of life-saving supplies is making the journey even more dangerous. In the deserts, thousands die, disappear, or are abused by organized crime groups or federal agents.
This story takes place in Brooks County, Texas, 70 miles north of the Southern border. A checkpoint placed on Highway 281 strategically pushes people to cross through isolated and privately owned ranch-lands. In order to circumvent the checkpoint, people must walk up to 60 miles through dense brush with temperatures reaching over 100 degrees. Each year, hundreds of people perish in the ranches due to dehydration and exposure to the elements. A large number of them are found on The Cage Ranch.
In this film, Thomas S. shares his experiences as a rancher/ trapper on The Cage for 36 years.
Directed by Lia Smaka (USA)