The U.S.-Mexican border is one of the most permeable boundaries in the world, breached daily by Mexicans in search of work. Thousands die crossing the line and those who reach "the other side" are branded illegals, undocumented and unprotected. Crossing Over puts a human face on the phenomenon, following the exodus of the Chávez clan, an extended Mexican family who lost three sons in a tragic border accident. Martínez follows the migrants' progress from their small southern Mexican town of Cherán to California, Wisconsin, and Missouri where far from joining the melting pot, Martínez argues, the seven million migrants in the U.S. are creating a new culture that will alter both Mexico and the United States as the two countries come increasingly to resemble each other.
Rubén Martínez, an Emmy Award-winning journalist and poet, is associate editor at Pacific News Service and a correspondent for PBS's religion and ethics news weekly. Author of The Other Side, he has appeared as a commentator on Nightline, Frontline, and CNN. He lives in Los Angeles.
"Through these beautifully written and important stories, Martínez shows us how "America" is being re-imagined by its uninvited, its disrespected, its invisible, and he shows us that they will change us, whether we like it or not." --Los Angeles Times
"To read Crossing Over is to read not the history of the foreign other, but to read the story of America, to understand the dynamic that renews the strength and hope of the American Dream even as it reshapes it.. . . [Martínez] has depicted a deep, enduring commonality that may change the way we understand immigration" --Chicago Tribune