Voices From Both Sides | One day and one night when there is no border

Nicol Ragland
3 min readJun 29, 2018


‘Fiesta Protesta’ | Lajitas

Every year in a border town called Lajitas, hundreds of people gather among the waters of the Rio Grande. For decades, tourists and locals would cross freely to Lajitas, Mexico. In May of 2002, when the federal government closed the passage, the small community ‘Lajitas’ shared with its Mexican neighbor was cut in half. But the annual ‘Voices From Both Sides’, a one-day rally acts as a reunion and best described as ‘Fiesta Protesta’.

FACT: At the beginning of the George W. bush administration there was 1.6 million apprehensions at the US / Mexico border . Last year it was at 400,000 . The numbers are down for illegal immigrants.

FACT: Most immigrants don’t take jobs away from native-born Americans. To the contrary, their spending creates more jobs.
- https://www.nytimes.com/…/immigrants-arent-taking-americans…

FACT: Behind this cruelty is an industry gaining profit.
As the Trump campaign detains thousand at the border, defense contractors and private prisons are making a fortune.. private corporations such as Geo Group and CoreCivic which operate about 60% of all immigration detention centers . One firm alone has already made $43 million transporting unaccompanied minors since last september. Last year the federal government funneled over $2 billion to private prison companies for immigration detention.

FACT: We are not our government. This detaining and separation of families at the border is a manufactured
and inhumane crisis created by the trump administration. Its up to us to decide if this actually IS Un-American. Whether it be in the courts, if congress grows a backbone or we, as Americans, start creating an even louder clarion call to voice just how atrocious this truly is.

A heartfelt bow to Jeff Haislip and Collie Ryan for creating
‘Voices from Both Sides.’ An event that reflects the truth of
who we are as cross-cultural beings.

.. and to Beto O’Rourke and Robert Reich for providing facts.

Photographs shot during production of the
Trans Pecos Documentary



Nicol Ragland

Photographer . Director | Narrative-enhancing photography and film with an emphasis on cause-driven storytelling. | http://nicolragland.com/