Against the Wall: My Journey from Border Patrol Agent to Immigrant Rights Activist (Paperback)
Jenn Budd, the only former U.S. Border Patrol agent to continually blow the whistle on this federal agency's rampant corruption, challenges us-as individuals and as a nation-to face the consequences of our actions. Her journey offers a vital perspective on the unfolding moral crisis of our time. She also gives harrowing testimony about rape culture, white privilege, women in law enforcement, LGBTQ issues, mental illness, survival and forgiveness.
"An unflinching look at a Border Patrol riddled with corruption, racism, and misogyny. Raw and truthful, no one escapes judgement, not even Budd, who searches deep within herself to examine her own prejudices as a white southerner, and the role she played as a Border Patrol agent."-Melissa del Bosque, author of Blood Lines, Lannan Reporting Fellow at Type Investigations
"With painstaking honesty and the sharp eye of a natural storyteller, Jenn Budd chronicles her journey from oppressor to activist. She investigates and condemns the agency she once was proud to be a part of while simultaneously exploring her own complicity. As a woman in a heavily male-dominated law enforcement agency, a daughter of an alcoholic, a gay woman in a misogynistic, racist, and homophobic environment, she was determined to fit in, even at the expense of her own moral compass and mental health.... Jenn's story, so deftly told, is a powerful testament to the importance of confronting both our own personal demons and our country's corrupt systems of power. This beautifully written book at its heart is about atonement and the unwavering advocacy that can grow from self-forgiveness."
-Barbara Feinman Todd, author of Pretend I m Not Here and founding journalism director at Georgetown University
"This book is a must-read for anyone who is interested in a first-hand account of how immigration enforcement plays out at the U.S.-Mexico border. Through this poignantly written book, Jenn succeeds in not only sharing and humanizing the face of childhood and adult trauma, but deftly connects these tragic incidents to the societal harms and trauma imposed on border and immigrant communities as the result of problematic national policies and politics."
-Vicki B. Gaubeca, human rights advocate and current director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition
"A shocking look at the ugly underbelly of the U.S. Border Patrol. Brave and unflinching, Jenn Budd is one of the most important voices about immigration enforcement in the United States."
-Reece Jones, 2021 Guggenheim Fellow and author of White Borders: The History of Race and Immigration in the United States from Chinese Exclusion to the Border Wall
"This courageous and compelling book by a Border Patrol agent-turned immigration-activist is essential reading to understand how today's heartless and abusive Border Patrol culture came into being and what needs to be done to transform immigration policy in America."
- Ruth Ben-Ghiat, author of Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present
"As Americans, we invest so much power and responsibility in our law enforcement officers. When that power is abused, it's our responsibility to stand up and speak out about it-and Jenn Budd does that so courageously in this compelling book. Please read it. Please internalize it. And please join Jenn in her incredible activism to make sure the abuses of power stop now and never happen again."
-Alyssa Milano, activist-actress-author of Sorry Not Sorry