Podcasts on migration, asylum and border crossing

The following are a selection of podcasts that help understand migrant issues, asylum seeking and border crossing. Some look at the macro and others consider individual stories.

Read this helpful advice on how to listen to podcasts for class.

This page is regularly updated.

Border Subjects

Melissa del Bosque talks about what motivates her to be an investigative reporter along the US-Mexico border: https://longform.org/posts/longform-podcast-420-melissa-del-bosque, 2 December 2020. More detail on her work can be found on her website.

Michelle García talks about her latest project and what it means to her to have grown up Mexican-American along the Texas-Mexico border area and feeling part of both cultures: https://longform.org/posts/longform-podcast-357-michelle-garcia, August 2019. The Longform podcast regularly interviews writers about their process, which can be helpful as you think about how to structure your ideas.

Immigration and Asylum

Bureaucratic war cracking down on immigration and asylum seekers to the US “Let Me Count the Ways”, This American Life, 14 September 2018, https://www.thisamericanlife.org/656/let-me-count-the-ways

A case study of a poultry town, precarious employment, and migration: “Our Town the Economists Report”, This American Life, 8December 2017, https://www.thisamericanlife.org/extras/our-town-the-economists-report

The complexity of expelling individuals: “Send in the Gowns”, This American Life, 19 January 2018, https://www.thisamericanlife.org/636/i-thought-it-would-be-easier/act-one-2

How an image of Spanish-African border in Melilla was used by Trump: “Melilla, Mexico and Trump”, This American Life, 21 March 2018,  https://www.thisamericanlife.org/extras/melilla-mexico-and-trump

*The high price of PTSD: “A la distancia”, Radio Ambulante, 28 November 2011, http://radioambulante.org/audio/a-la-distancia

Crossing the Guatemalan-Mexican border and the awareness of the nature of privileged border-crossing: “El vacío”, Radio Ambulante, 10 January 2017, http://radioambulante.org/audio/el-vacio

The challenge of border crossing: “The Port of Entry”, Latino USA, 31 July 2018, https://latinousa.org/2018/07/31/theportofentry/

Eva Hnizdo asks why more people don’t emigrate and the sometimes terrible consequences of staying behind, “Leaving Your Homeland”, BBC Four Thought, 29 September 2021, https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m00100kl

Valeria Luiselli

Valeria Luiselli describes the process involved in making Tell Me How it Ends: Valeria Luiselli “The Questionnaire”, This American Life, 6 October 2017, https://www.thisamericanlife.org/627/suitable-for-children/act-three

A conversation between Luiselli and Rebecca Hoogs talking about both Tell Me How It Ends and Lost Children Archive: Rebecca Hoogs “Valeria Luiselli”, SAL/on Air, 24 March 2020, https://lectures.org/podcast/valeria-luiselli/

Child migration and separation of children from their parents

An interview with Catilin Dickerson about her article for the The Atlantic in English and in Spanish on the U.S. government’s family-separation policy, September 2022, https://longform.org/posts/longform-podcast-500-caitlin-dickerson

*Numbers of child migrants in detention and their consequences: “Tolerancia cero”, Radio Ambulante, 22 June 2018, http://radioambulante.org/audio/tolerancia-cero

Family separation: “Torn Apart I: Sign Here”, Latino USA, 14 August 2018, https://latinousa.org/2018/08/14/tornapart1signhere/

Parents trying to stay as close as possible to their children: “We Keep the Walls Between Us as We Go”, This American Life, 16 March 2018, https://www.thisamericanlife.org/641/the-walls/act-two-10

*Why young people are leaving Honduras: “No es país para jovenes”, Radio Ambulante, 27 February 2018, http://radioambulante.org/audio/no-es-pais-para-jovenes

Parents trying to find out the truth of their children’s disappearance in Long Island. It considers the way young people get caught up in violence committed by the MS13 gang and the consequence if “under- and over-policing Latinos” : “The Runaways”, This American Life, 21 September 2018, https://www.thisamericanlife.org/657/the-runaways 

Not a podcast, here is a short (6 minute) animation on child border crossing: https://remezcla.com/film/you-should-stream-animation-immigrants-catalina-matamoros/


*The dangers of being a journalist in Mexico: “Fue el estado”, Radio Ambulante, 23 January 2018, http://radioambulante.org/audio/fue-el-estado

*Poppy farming and its consequences on those who live among it: “Flor del diablo”, Radio Ambulante, 7 March 2017, http://radioambulante.org/audio/la-flor-del-diablo

*Programmes by Radio Ambulante have transcripts in Spanish, some also have transcripts in English.

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