The Rio Grande Valley of Texas is the busiest corridor for illegal migration into the United States.
This series of aerial photographs documents state and federal agencies in their attempts to stem the flow of drugs and migrants across the Rio Grande.
In response to what Obama called a "humanitarian crisis" in the summer of 2014, billions in federal money was pledged to strengthen border security, with efforts focussed here in South Texas. This money, coupled with Texas Governor Rick Perry's 'Operation Strong Safety,' has resulted in a higher presence of agents, agencies and assets than ever before.
These pictures document the enforcement of current immigration legislation. The Valley, which is the most direct route to the US for Central Americans, is serving as a stage for this unfolding political drama.
All images were taken aboard helicopters federally funded under Homeland Security. Pilots and additional helicopters have been brought in from the Canadian border to fill the need for additional surveillance in Texas.
Billions of dollars are being spent to maintain this presence in South Texas. Central American migrants, escaping poverty and/or extreme violence, are borrowing upwards of $7000 for the dangerous journey North, evading agents and their technology each step of the way. These small fortunes changing hands enrich and embolden the smugglers, who have ties to the cartels operating with impunity in Mexico.