"This courageous and compelling book by a Border Patrol agent turned immigration activist is essential reading to understand how today's heartless and abusive Border Patrol culture came into being and what needs to be done to transform immigration policy in America."

Ruth Ben-Ghiat, author of Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present

JENN BUDD was a senior patrol agent with the U.S. Border Patrol in San Diego and an intelligence agent at San Diego Sector Headquarters from 1995 to 2001 when she resigned in protest due to the rampant corruption and brutality she witnessed on a daily basis. Since 2015 she speaks out on national and local news, community panels, podcasts and radio. She regularly is consulted by academics, journalists, humanitarians, and lawmakers. She is often interviewed for outlets such as The New York Times, Newsweek, The Guardian, Washington Post, NPR, Telemundo, CNN, and many more. She was an ambassador for Define American and the Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC). In April 2022 Jenn Budd's whistleblowing and knowledge contributed to the POGO report "Protecting the Predators at DHS", and in May 2022 her work with SBCC pressured CBP to announce the shutdown of Border Patrol's CIT units, the largest shadow-police cover-up group in the USA.

Her acclaimed memoir, Against the Wall: My Journey From Border Patrol Agent to Immigrant Rights Activist, is a Finalist for the Randy Shilts Award for Nonfiction in 2023 Publishing Triangle Awards and an Honorable Mention in Los Angeles Book Festival Awards.

Against The Wall audiobook, narrated by Jenn Budd, is published with RB Media and available from all major audiobook retailers.

See and support Jenn Budd's activism on her website

Heliotrope Books published Against The Wall: My Journey From Border Patrol Agent to Immigrant Rights Activist by Jenn Budd as a hardcover, paperback and ebook on 21 June 2022, with foreword written by the New York Times best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, as the Founder of Define American, a culture change organization dedicated to humanizing the narratives surrounding immigrants. Jenn Budd, the only former U.S. Border Patrol agent to continually blow the whistle on this federal agency's rampant corruption, has written this book to challenge us—as individuals and as a nation—to face the consequences of our actions. Her journey offers a vital perspective on the unfolding moral crisis of our time. She also gives harrowing testimony about rape culture, white privilege, women in law enforcement, LGBTQ issues, mental illness, survival and forgiveness. Heliotrope Founder and Publisher, Naomi Rosenblatt says: "I found Jenn's memoir compelling, raw, and shocking. My readers from the ages of 23 to 91 were upset by her account of the sexist, abusive culture within Border Patrol, and I appreciate Jenn's courage in also sharing her very personal story of childhood trauma and mental breakdown. Many writers cannot do that with a voice of honesty, vulnerability and detail. There are many treasures in this memoir, and many people will connect with it. There is no way this book will not rip like a comet throughout the world." Jenn Budd says: "I wrote Against the Wall to try to heal myself from a traumatic childhood, a sexual assault I survived while in the Border Patrol academy and a serious suicide attempt in 2015. Much like our border wall, my personal walls did not keep me safe. My trauma and the trauma I caused others only began to heal when I began tearing down my personal walls and facing my own prejudices and racism. Solving racial divisions begins with each of us. I hope my memoir will prompt more citizens to face our prejudices, dismantle institutionalized racism and be willing to listen to those we've harmed."

Read extract of Against The Wall in The Guardian

The San Diego Union Tribune featured this article about Jenn Budd on the front page (February 14 2021).


"I don't know anybody else out there who's telling us the stuff Jenn Budd is telling us. She's a warrior." Kathy Griffin, Emmy Award-winning comedian-actress-author

"An unflinching look at a Border Patrol riddled with corruption, racism, and misogyny. Raw and truthful, no one escapes judgement, not even Budd, who searches deep within herself to examine her own prejudices as a White southerner, and the role she played as a Border Patrol agent." Melissa del Bosque, author of Blood Lines, Lannan Reporting Fellow at Type Investigations, and co-author of The Border Chronicle newsletter and podcast

"Budd's memoir is appropriately titled, referring at turns to the brick wall against which she was raped, the walls built to mark borders, and the walls she raised within herself to lock away trauma. But the book is also more subtly about the choices and decisions that those walls force." The Progressive

"With her memoir, Budd has managed to present the reality of the U.S. Border Patrol. But over the course of Against The Wall, she looks beyond our present reality, moving from a horror story to a recovery, and then to the work required to create a more just and humane world. As she recounts her changing path, her literary voice strengthens." Southside Weekly

"The word ally is thrown around so freely these days that it's become devoid of meaning. Through her years-long activism, and now through this daring and soulful book, Jenn Budd symbolizes not just allyship but forces readers to examine what being an "ally" means. Jenn's memoir is at once deeply personal and profoundly political, allowing us access to her very raw and vulnerable mea culpa, explaining—though never excusing—her own participation in the brutal inhumanity of America's broken and cruel immigration system. As an undocumented immigrant who has been arrested and detained by Border Patrol, I am thankful that Jenn is now firmly and fearlessly on our side, fighting for the human rights of immigrants." Jose Antonio Vargas, best-selling author of Dear America, Notes of an Undocumented Citizen and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist

"With painstaking honesty and the sharp eye of a natural storyteller, Jenn Budd chronicles her journey from oppressor to activist. She investigates and condemns the agency she once was proud to be a part of while simultaneously exploring her own complicity. As a woman in a heavily male-dominated law enforcement agency, a daughter of an alcoholic, a gay woman in a misogynistic, racist and homophobic environment, she was determined to fit in, even at the expense of her own moral compass and mental health, ultimately numbed by the sexual violence and physical harm perpetrated on her by male colleagues. Jenn's story, so deftly told, is a powerful testament to the importance of confronting both our own personal demons and our country's corrupt systems of power. This beautifully written book at its heart is about atonement and the unwavering advocacy that can grow from self-forgiveness." Barbara Feinman Todd, author of Pretend I´m Not Here and founding Journalism Director at Georgetown University

"Against The Wall is a shocking look at the ugly underbelly of the US Border Patrol. Brave and unflinching, Jenn Budd is one of the most important voices about immigration enforcement in the United States." Reece Jones, a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow and the author of White Borders: The History of Race and Immigration in the United States from Chinese Exclusion to the Border Wall

"As Americans, we invest so much power and responsibility in our law enforcement officers. When that power is abused, it's our responsibility to stand up and speak out about it--and Jenn Budd does that so courageously in this compelling book. Please read it. Please internalize it. And please join Jenn in her incredible activism to make sure the abuses of power stop now and never happen again." activist-actress-author Alyssa Milano

"The story of Jenn Budd is the story of redemption," said Hiram Soto, who took Budd under his wing as the then-communications director at Alliance San Diego, a nonprofit that advocates for immigrant rights. "It's really the story of the United States in the moment we are going through now," he said, "recognizing the cruelty and racism and violence that Border Patrol has inflicted on so many people, and how you can come to turn the page on that and actually find other ways to manage immigration and treat people."

"This book is a must-read for anyone who is interested in a first-hand account of how immigration enforcement plays out at the U.S.-Mexico border. Jenn Budd succeeds in not only sharing and humanizing the face of childhood and adult trauma, but deftly connects these tragic incidents to the societal harms and trauma imposed on border and immigrant communities as the result of problematic national policies and politics. Jenn, who as a former Border Patrol agent witnessed corruption at our nation's largest law enforcement agency and who personally experienced sexism and abuse, illustrates why this agency, which regularly violates basic rights with impunity, needs to be brought under control." Vicki B. Gaubeca, a long-time human rights advocate and current director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition


El Confidencial: interview in the third largest newspaper in Spain

Pogo.org: podcast

Grupo Milenio: En Estados Unidos tenemos una cultura de brutalidad: Jenn Budd

The Border Chronicle podcast "A tough and honest book about how Budd battled with systemic misogyny and racism in the Border Patrol and her fight to overcome a childhood of trauma and abuse."

Immigration Today! podcast with Angeline Chen, The Truth About The U.S. Border Patrol: Jenn Budd, Former Border Patrol Agent Turned Activist and Author of Against The Wall

AJ+ (Al Jazeera), I Felt Like A F*cking Nazi': An Ex-Border Patrol Agent Speaks Out, which has more than 2.2K likes and 600+ overwhelmingly positive comments

WNYC, The Takeaway (22 September 2021)

Lana Zak, CBSN "It took me about 15 years really to think about what I had done in the agency, the policies that I was enforcing, the laws that I was enforcing. Honestly, I had a lot of PTSD from when I was in the Border Patrol." (24 February 2021)

Podcast, American Coyote #1 documentary (Chapter 4 "Operation Gatekeeper" + Chapter 9 "End of the Line"

Ari Melber, MSNBC

Podcast, Redirect: Immigration Law and Perspectives (3 Jan 2020)

Podcast, Alyssa Milano: Sorry Not Sorry (4 November 2019, 1 hr)

Richard Eskow: “The Zero Hour”


Podcast, Historic.ly (1 August 2019)

Podcast, The Bitchuation Room with Francesca Fiorentini, Episode 124 Genocide on the Border