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With immigration reform a topic of conversation nationwide (except perhaps in governors' state-of-the-state addresses), The Washington Post produced a photo gallery, rich with powerful images, of Mexicans who repeatedly try to return to the U.S. using the "Whisper Trail," the most porous of spots along the California border. The lengthy Sunday story, which explored th migrants' sense of urgency to cross despite dangers, also has an accompanying graph charting deportations vs. apprehensions.

With immigration reform possible, The Hill reports of concerns voiced by Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa., who fears a rush of illegal entries. "Any time you offer a pathway to citizenship — which in this case will be amnesty — [this] will only encourage millions more, like it did in 1986. You're encouraging them by offering the benefits of American citizenship at a time when our borders remain open. We have no way of stopping people from coming here illegally right now."


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In the State of the Union remarks, President Obama maintained that illegal crossings are at their lowest in 40 years, a fact CNN checked against the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center figures.

The article by Post reporter Nick Miroff conveyed the mind-set of many Mexicans, including a man deported five times and cited 30 times for trying to return to his landscaping job south of Los Angeles: "If the Americans were finally going to change their laws and offer a chance to stay, no one wanted to be stuck on the wrong side of the border."

Earlier coverage from The Next America:

This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.

This article is part of our Next America: Communities project, which is supported by a grant from Emerson Collective.

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