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Former BP Agent, Author Discusses Human Cost of Deterrence at IBC Bank, Commerce Bank Keynote Speaker Series Wednesday Posted: 10/29/18

Former BP Agent, Author Discusses Human Cost of Deterrence at IBC Bank, Commerce Bank Keynote Speaker Series Wednesday

 

Francisco Cantú
Francisco Cantú: Photo Credit: Beowulf Sheehan  

A former US Border Patrol agent and author who witnessed first-hand the reality of migrants risking their lives to cross the border will lecture at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. at TAMIU’s Student Center Ballroom.

Francisco Cantú, author of The Line Becomes a River (Riverhead Books, 2018), is the featured speaker for IBC Bank and Commerce Bank’s 2018-2019 Keynote Speaker Series.

His presentation, “The Human Cost of Deterrence Based Border Enforcement,” is free and open to the public. A reception starts at 5:30 p.m.

The IBC Bank and Commerce Bank Keynote Speaker Series is presented by the TAMIU A. R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business’ Center for the Study of Western Hemispheric Trade and sponsored by IBC Bank and Commerce Bank.

Raised in the Southwest and a student of U.S.-México relations, Cantú enlisted as a U.S. Border Patrol agent in 2008 to see the realities of the border up-close. During blistering days and frigid nights in the deserts of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, he and his partners apprehended migrants risking their lives to cross into a new country. Haunted by his interactions with border crossers and rattled by an inescapable proximity to violence, Cantú decided to return to civilian life, only to discover that the border had followed him home.

When an immigrant friend traveled back to México to visit his dying mother and didn’t return, Cantú found himself moved to uncover the entire story. His searing memoir, The Line Becomes a River depicts the cruelties the border creates, for Americans and Mexicans on both sides of the line 

In the book, Cantú speaks frankly, compassionately, and knowledgeably about the terror and tragedy of the migrants who risk and lose their lives in crossing attempts. A master storyteller, he gives human faces to the nameless multitudes and refutes the incendiary policy and rhetoric aimed at them.

A former Fulbright Fellow, Cantú is a recipient of a Pushcart Prize and 2017 Whiting Award. His writing and translations have appeared in Best American Essays, Harpers, n+1, Orion, and Guernica. His work has also been featured on This American Life. He currently lives in Tucson, AZ.

For more information, contact Amy Palacios, associate director, Center for the Study of Western Hemispheric Trade, at 956.326.2820, or amy@tamiu.eduor visit offices in Western Hemispheric Trade Center, room 221.

Additional information is available at facebook.com/tamiucswht

University office hours are from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.