The University of Texas at Austin
  • Radio documentary examines illegal immigration

    By Tara Chandler
    Published: Oct. 3, 2007

    KUT News and Latino USA, the radio journal of Latino news and culture, have produced “Lost and Found at the Border,” a radio documentary that puts human faces on the story of the national debate on immigration.

    The documentary will air nationally in two parts on Latino USA Oct. 12 and Oct. 19 (4 p.m. in Austin), and in Austin during a one-hour special at 11 a.m. Oct. 14 on KUT 90.5 FM’s “The Best of Public Radio.”

    Texas is on the frontlines of one of the biggest cultural shifts in American history, but the complex stories of the human experience involved are vastly underreported. In “Lost and Found at the Border” listeners can hear why people are coming, where they’re coming from, how they live once they arrive and what can or should be done about the current influx of illegal immigrants.

    “Through our collaboration with Latino USA, which has a deep understanding of the history behind the debate and fluency in Spanish, we were able to produce a program that tells the bigger picture with reporting that is locally relevant,” said KUT News director Emily Donahue. “Reporters and producers from both news teams traveled together in Mexico, Central America and Texas to tell some compelling stories in a way no other news programs are doing.”

    Some of the stories listeners will hear include:

    A report from KUT News reporter Joy Diaz about a train that leaves Mexico on the last leg of the trip for Central American migrants, many of whom cross several borders illegally. She talks to a man who says he was robbed and beaten on his way north, as well as a guard hired by the train company, to beat the migrants off the train.

    KUT News reporter Matt Largey traveled to Honduras to visit the family of one of the migrants who caught the train. He learns how they use the money they receive and visits a coffee farm purchased with money earned in the U.S.

    Latino USA producer Mincho Jacob visits a Texas rancher who has lived on the border for 73 years, whose property has become a common route for undocumented migrants. Jacob also visits with a 22-year-old student who tells the harrowing tale of his own border crossing.

    KUT News reporter Mose Buchele spent time in the sister cities of Eagle Pass, Texas and Piedras Negras, Coahuila to report on the statue of the “Undocumented Christ,” whose mysterious arrival became a uniting force between the communities.

    “Lost and Found at the Border” was reported by KUT’s news staff: Joy Diaz, Matt Largey, Julie Moody, Mose Buchele and Ben Philpott, and produced with help from Latino USA’s Alex Avila, Sean Collins, Angela Maldonado and Walter Morgan. Music for the special was composed by Brian Keane and Charles Reiser. KUT’s news director, Emily Donahue, edited and executive produced the show.

    “Lost and Found at the Border” was produced with support from the William and Salomé Scanlan Foundation of Austin and San Antonio.

    For more information about Latino USA, visit http://www.latinousa.org/.

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