The Cage

Each year, tens of thousands of people leave their countries and make the journey to the United States. “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 which has pushed travel into the most isolated areas of the Southwest. In the deserts, thousands of people die or disappear every year.

This film takes place in Brooks County, Texas, 70 miles North of Mexico. A Border Patrol checkpoint placed on Highway 281 pushes migrants to cross through the rugged 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. In this film Thomas S. shares his experience as a Rancher in Brooks County for over 30 years.
I would like to acknowledge that the ranch-lands of South Texas are on the stolen and occupied land of the Tāp Pīlam Coahuiltecan Nation, and that they existed here long before the imposed border divided their territory.

Credits / Collaborators / Cast

Director – Lia Smaka
Score – Christopher Tenerowicz


Genre: Documentary
Country: USA
Language: English
Length in minutes: 6:27
YEAR: 2019