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In April 2018, during EXPO Chicago, the US government bused 1500 children in the middle of the night to a remote desert border town named Tornillo, an under-served community 45 miles east of El Paso, TX, where they joined a large group of children in a government-built tent facility. Two days after the art fair ended, CASE flew to El Paso to see the detention site and learn about the situation. The result of that trip and subsequent research is the ongoing photographic exhibition Borderlines, about the Juarez/El Paso/Sunland Park, NM border. 

In 2022, the crisis at the border exploded, as thousands upon thousands of asylum seekers fled violence, hunger, political unrest, and homelessness. With the expected ending of Title 42 - a code created years ago that allowed the government to take emergency action to stop the introduction of communicable diseases, and widely used in March 2020 to regulate border crossings under the premise of increased COVID-19 precautions - Venezuelans, Central Americans, and Mexicans flooded the border, hoping to claim asylum. As thousands tried crossing the Rio Grande, others ended up crossing the foothills into Sunland Park, NM. In 2023, CASE returned to El Paso/Sunland Park to witness, learn, and understand the evolving situation. CASE is proud to present our third installation of Borderlines, an exhibition about the immigration issue.


The border crisis is complicated, but as one border patrol agent told us, “Nobody wants to leave their home, but we have a job to do. If we catch you today, we will return you to the Mexican side. Try again tomorrow, maybe we won’t see you.” 

Borderlines exhibition EXPO Chicago 2023            Image: ©CASE

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