While a big white surveillance blimp constantly hovers over the small border town of La Joya, Texas, local police officers patrol the neighborhood looking for human smugglers. The region is littered with traces of people who have attempted to get into the US by crossing the Rio Grande. But rather than arresting the immigrants, the officers are gathering intelligence on the smugglers and smuggling bosses tied to Mexican cartels.
With a visual style that alternates between intimate verité moments, meditative reflection and suspenseful sequences, the film tells the story of Chief Ramon Gonzalez, detective Manuel Casas and officer Mayra Garza, as they navigate the complexities of their existence on the border. As irony would have it, the area they are patrolling was once Mexican national territory.
Slowly the mutual dependence between police and smuggler reveals a system stuck in a never-ending cycle, with the immigrant dangerously caught in between. Meanwhile, the human cost of border enforcement starts taking a personal toll on the protagonists.