A musician's view of growing up in a border town

The World
Musician Adrian Quesada grew up on the bordertown of Laredo, Texas

Immigration is a hot topic in this year's presidential race.

Donald Trump on Wednesday outlined his 10-point plan on illegal immigration, which includes an operation to deport "criminal aliens" currently living in the United States. 

Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton, on the other hand, has taken a softer approach by supporting a path to citizenship for the millions who are already here. 

No matter which side you're on, it's just a reminder of just how close we are to Mexico.

"Nothing seems foreign to you because there's a whole other country five minutes away," says Adrian Quesada, a musician who grew up in Laredo, Texas, near the border with Mexico.

"I think the thing that makes Laredo unique is the fact that it's a border town, so you grow up between two cultures. It's pretty common for people to have family on both sides of the border like I did and just go back and forth," Quesada says.

That meant Quesada spoke English and Spanish growing up. And being bilingual has had an effect on his music too.

Now living in Austin, he's had numerous bands, including his latest, a Latin rock group called The Echocentrics.

With all the heated rhetoric out there about migration, Quesada just wants to get back to a time when he says the whole border issue wasn't so loaded.

"You know I'm definitely a little bit of an idealist, but I'm also realistic in the fact that I do think we're at a point where there clearly has to be a separation between the countries," he says. 

In the past, the border "was just another little place where you dropped a few coins to go to the other country," Quesada says. "It wasn't like a huge ordeal and it didn't seem like you were transported to this other place."

Will you support The World?

There is no paywall on the story you just read because a community of dedicated listeners and readers have contributed to keep the global news you rely on free and accessible for all. Will you join the 314 donors who’ve stepped up to support The World? From now until Dec. 31, your gift will help us unlock a $67,000 match. Donate today to double your impact and keep The World free and accessible.