Victor Clark-Alfaro, a lecturer at San Diego State and director of Tijuana’s Binational Center for Human Rights, began doing field work with human smugglers along the U.S-Mexico border in the late 1980s. In a Q-and-A, he discusses the business of smuggling people across the border, including the role of referrals and pricing and how it’s all changed in recent years.

San Ysidro’s demographics and its location on the border contribute to a unique set of housing woes. “I can’t get my green card without an address, I can’t work without a green card and I can’t afford an apartment without work,” said one resident whose struggle is familiar to many community members.

Though plans for a border wall – a literal barricade dividing the U.S. and Mexico – are moving forward, the vision for a property just south of the existing border fence strives to connect Tijuana and San Diego more than ever by becoming a hub for where people from both sides of the border can live and work.