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In-Depth Interview: From the Mexican Border, Author Kimball Taylor Provides Reality Check

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Kimball Taylor is a talented journalist, and a surfer who knows the Pacific coast of southern California and northern Mexico.  He has choice words for Trump’s ravings about his wall and border security, and explains how migrants on bicycles defeated America’s high-tech barriers.Taylor’s fascinating new book is The Coyote’s Bicycle: The Untold Story of Seven Thousand Bicycles and the Rise of a Borderland Empire. The central figure in the book is a boy from a small village in Oaxaca state who becomes a coyote, a paid guide who escorts migrants over the US border.

Taylor was not an expert on immigration when he began the book.  He was intrigued by the large numbers of bicycles found abandoned near the border, leading him to a coyote named El Indio who figured out that the sensors and other technology on the approach to the border did not detect people on bikes.  Thousands of migrants used his method, and Taylor portrays Indio as a dedicated shepherd of humans, not the ruthless opportunist trafficker we often see in corporate media.

Based on his research, Taylor says that walls and drones won’t stop the flow, and offers interesting comments on the real drivers of migration: trade and politics.