While politicians debate border security, criminal charges for crossing the border have been steadily increasing for decades. More people are prosecuted for immigration-related federal crimes than for all other categories combined – white-collar crime, drugs, weapons, etc. This population makes up 40 percent of the inmates in private prisons for noncitizens.

This segment explains how these prosecutions work and how they became so prevalent through the story of one man, tracked down by Investigative Fund reporter Seth Freed Wessler.

Eloy Flores ended up incarcerated at a private prison in Big Spring, Texas, but he got there through a circuitous journey. Retracing his steps takes us through Baltimore, a Border Patrol processing center and a courtroom proceeding that is like nothing you’ve heard before.

Through interviews and exclusive audio obtained from the U.S. District Court, Stan Alcorn tells the story of Flores and his family.

Julia B. Chan worked at The Center for Investigative Reporting until June, 2017. Julia B. Chan is a producer and the digital editor for Reveal's national public radio program. She’s the voice of Reveal online and manages the production and curation of digital story assets that are sent to more than 200 stations across the country. Previously, Chan helped The Center for Investigative Reporting launch YouTube’s first investigative news channel, The I Files, and led engagement strategies – online and off – for multimedia projects. She oversaw communications, worked to better connect CIR’s work with a bigger audience and developed creative content and collaborations to garner conversation and impact.

Before joining CIR, Chan worked as a Web editor and reporter at the San Francisco Examiner. She managed the newspaper’s digital strategy and orchestrated its first foray into social media and online engagement. A rare San Francisco native, she studied broadcasting at San Francisco State University, focusing on audio production and recording. Chan is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.