These Shoes Are Made for Crossing
This story is rather old, but I just ran across it, and am very impressed:
Declarations of emergency in US border states like Arizona and New Mexico have kicked the immigration debate into high gear.
Artist Judi Werthein has walked smack into the middle of this controversy.
She is hoping to leave her footprint with a special "crossing trainer" she has designed to help illegal immigrants negotiate the sometimes deadly terrain they encounter when crossing the border from Mexico to the US.
Migrants waiting for dark to hop the border fence from Tijuana into San Diego start calling out their shoe sizes when they see the boxes in Werthein's arms.
They call the act of crossing the "brinco" - literally "jump" in Spanish. And that is the inspiration for Werthein's crossing shoes, called Brincos.
The trainers are adorned with unusual items.
"The shoe includes a compass, a flashlight because people cross at night, and inside is included also some Tylenol painkillers because many people get injured during crossing," Werthein says.
A map - printed on the shoe's removable insole - shows the most popular illegal routes from Tijuana into San Diego.