Postcards From the Edge

Hi, Mom! I'm crossing the border!

"Not to throw a pity party," Criado finally says late in the evening after the migrant house visit, almost apologizing for putting a damper on dinner, "but sometimes you wonder how much of life is determined by what side of the line you happen to be born on."

Huneycutt, who suddenly reveals he was adopted as a baby, says he's often had that thought himself. What direction would his life have taken if his birth mother, who moved from Taiwan to Las Vegas right before having him, hadn't given up Huneycutt for adoption at six months? What if he hadn't been offered the outstanding schooling he received?

"When we were in Altar over the past weekend, we met these two really exceptional young men who were about our age, maybe 20," Huneycutt says. "And you could just tell by talking to them that they were really bright, even though they obviously didn't have the formal education we've had. They seemed not just smart, but incredibly wise, thoughtful, and with a really great presence.

An assortment of photos taken by both migrants and Minutemen, to be included in an upcoming art exhibit.
An assortment of photos taken by both migrants and Minutemen, to be included in an upcoming art exhibit.
The crew of the Border Film Project (borderfilmproject.com), from left: Rudy Adler, Victoria Criado and Brett Huneycutt.
courtesy of Rudy Adler
The crew of the Border Film Project (borderfilmproject.com), from left: Rudy Adler, Victoria Criado and Brett Huneycutt.

"It's hard to say how much does talent and intelligence show through in someone like that, who's had no formal education ever in his life?"

Fifteen minutes later, idling the car through the border checkpoint heading back into Arizona, Huneycutt becomes just a little impatient with the customs agent asking more than the usual battery of questions about his place of residence and what business he has in Mexico.

"Where are you from?" the man asks.

"U.S.," Huneycutt answers. Said with just the right diction, it's usually all an American needs to announce to roll on into the country. But this agent asks him a second time, then stares back quizzically at Criado in the back seat.

"I'm a masters student at Oxford University," Huneycutt finally blurts out. "We're working on a documentary."

From the back seat, after the car pulls away, Criado busts out laughing at her would-be-Mexican friend's sudden display of aristocracy.

"I should have said, 'I'm from A-merrr-i-cah!'" she says in her best Spanish accent. "Hue Ess!"

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