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Al Jazeera America Presents "Borderland": A new original series in which average Americans are confronted with the realities of illegal immigration while retracing the footsteps of dead border runners.
Six Americans are tasked by a frontier medical examiner with retracing the footsteps of three dead migrants — three of the nearly 6,000 illegal immigrants who perished in the desert in the last 15 years while crossing from Mexico. Gathered at the morgue, the participants are handed three case files and told, “We’ve given them a name. You must give them a story.” The six, from all walks of life, first explore the issue on the U.S. side, embedding with law enforcement and Arizona ranchers angry at the cartels that now control not just the drug trade but the migrant routes as well. Then, split into three groups, they head for Mexico and Central America, learning about the lives of the migrants they’ve been asked to follow. In a twist, the medical examiner instructs the six to work their way back to the United States alongside real migrants by whatever means necessary … on river rafts, on foot through gang-controlled jungle and, once regrouped, on top the infamous cargo train known as La Bestia. Finally, from cartel-held Sinaloa state, they attempt the journeys that proved fatal to their assigned migrants — a dangerous trek through the hot badlands. They’ll live. But will they learn?
Six Americans – strangers from all walks of life – gather to embark on a haunting journey that begins in the Pima County morgue’s dead-body freezer.
The six are split into three groups, each tasked with retracing one dead migrant’s past, and discover the grave circumstances that led “their” migrants to risk their lives.
Things get real in gang controlled Arriaga, when the six climb atop a cargo train known as “La Bestia,” or “The Beast.”
It’s the final leg of their perilous journey and the six must face sweltering heat during the day and nights that drop below zero – how long can they last?
Filmmakers Ivan O’Mahoney and Nial Fulton focused on stories behind the statistics for an original documentary series
Take a look at some of the prominent locations the migrants in 'Borderland' visited on their way to the United States
Learn about the creators of this Al Jazeera America original series.
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