A Border Ritual That No Fence Can Stop

The two young Mexican smugglers whom I met in a dark Tijuana restaurant had been reluctant to take me along. But after I convinced them that I wouldn't reveal their identities, they finally agreed. For the task of sneaking me into my own country, they wouldn't even charge me the customary $100 fee. But for the trio who would try to cross with me--a 17-year-old girl, a boy the same age, and a barefoot 76-year-old woman--the trip north to Tijuana and the smugglers' fee had cost every peso they could raise.

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