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Project August 8, 2023

On the Border: Latin American Migrants in Limbo


María José waits for news from her husband—located in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico—as her son, Cristian, and niece, Isabela, play on a sidewalk near Sacred Heart Catholic Church and Shelter in El Paso, Texas. Image by Madison Powers. United States, 2023.

Danger and uncertainty face Central and South American migrants who choose to journey north to Mexico and the U.S. as they brave the Darién Gap—a roadless, rainy jungle between Colombia and Panama. Migrants face various smugglers, gangs, and corrupt police along the journey—all of whom extort and rob.

Once migrants reach the U.S.-Mexico border, their situations remain precarious as they may be denied asylum or separated from their families. And even if they are allowed to enter the U.S., there is no guarantee of work—but there is hope for a better, safer future.

Madison Powers, Elon University's 2023 Reporting Fellow, spent time in El Paso, Texas, covering the stories of migrants crossing the border and investigating the uncertainty and violence that play an inherent role in migration to the U.S.


teal halftone illustration of a family carrying luggage and walking


Migration and Refugees

Migration and Refugees