This volume explores the complex relationship between human smugglers and the immigrants they smuggle. It also shows how government policies and immigration enforcement and control measures can be counterproductive, playing a role in creating the conditions that lead to human smuggling.
How the West Was Juan creatively approaches the current political stalemate over restrictive v. compassionate border policy by imagining a different U.S.-Mexico border, one that returns to the early 1800s U.S.-Mexico border. Relocating the border serves the dual purpose of disconnecting the heated immigration debate from the current physical border, and allowing exploration of the physical and cultural space of the U.S. Southwest, where most U.S. Mexicans reside today as they always have.
Bustamante provides a rare insight of the border as an entire transnational social field, with a similar racial and ethnic composition. He finds a borderlands region patterned by political oppression and gender inequality. This oppressive situation and the lack of access to institutional resources entice families to seek and use resources provided by Mexican relatives across the border. This salient issue places transnational engagement as a strategy based on available options, not a preferred choice. Therefore, transnationalism is an approach that many border immigrants would like to avoid.
The U.S.-Mexico border is frequently presented by contemporary media as a violent and dangerous place. But that is not a new perception. For decades the border has been constructed as a topographic metaphor for all forms of illegality, in which an ineffable link between space and violence is somehow assumed. The sociological and cultural implications of violence have recently emerged at the forefront of academic discussions about the border. And yet few studies have been devoted to one of its most disturbing manifestations: gender violence. This book analyzes this pervasive phenomenon, including the femicides in Ciudad Juárez that have come to exemplify, at least for the media, its most extreme manifestation.
The areas along the U.S.-Mexico border are commonly portrayed as a hot spot for gang activity, drug trafficking, and violence. Yet when Robert J. Durán conducted almost a decade’s worth of ethnographic research in border towns between El Paso, Texas, and southern New Mexico―a region notorious for gang activity, according to federal officials―he found significantly less gang membership and activity than common fearmongering claims would have us believe. Instead, he witnessed how the gang label was used to criminalize youth of Mexican descent―to justify the overrepresentation of Latinos in the justice system, the implementation of punitive practices in the school system, and the request for additional resources by law enforcement.
Since the attacks of 9/11, the United States has steadily ramped up security along the US-Mexico border, transforming America’s legendary Southwest into a frontier of fear. Veteran journalist Peter Eichstaedt roams this fabled region from Tucson, Arizona, to El Paso, Texas, meeting with migrants, border security advocates, and communities ravaged by cross-border crime. Eichstaedt finds that despite tens of thousands of border agents and the expenditure of billions of dollars, an estimated one million Mexicans and Central Americans continue to cross the border each year. These migrants fill jobs that have become the underpinnings of the US economy. Rather than building a wall, or more and better barricades, Eichstaedt argues that the United States must reform its immigration and drug laws and acknowledge that costly, counterproductive, and antiquated policies have created deadly circumstances on both sides of the border.
This collection of powerful essays-written by leading scholars in migration studies-puts a human face on mass deportation by telling the stories of people bearing the brunt of immigration law enforcement. Each narrative in Forced Out and Fenced In: Immigration Tales From the Field centers on a person or a small group of people and places their story within the broader socio-legal and historical context. The authors weave the relevant historical, political, and socio-legal analysis throughout each essay, yet the narrative remains the most important element in each piece.
In Violent Borders, Jones crosses the migrant trails of the world, documenting the billions of dollars spent on border security projects and the dire consequences for countless millions. While the poor are restricted by the lottery of birth to slum dwellings in the ailing decolonized world, the wealthy travel without constraint, exploiting pools of cheap labor and lax environmental regulations. With the growth of borders and resource enclosures, the deaths of migrants in search of a better life are intimately connected to climate change, environmental degradation, and the growth of global wealth inequality. Newly updated with a discussion of Brexit and the Trump administration.
Ieva Jusionyte’s firsthand experience as an emergency responder provides the background for her gripping examination of the politics of injury and rescue in the militarized region surrounding the US-Mexico border. Operating in this area, firefighters and paramedics are torn between their mandate as frontline state actors and their responsibility as professional rescuers, between the limits of law and pull of ethics.
In The INS on the Line, S. Deborah Kang traces the ways in which the INS on the US-Mexico border made and remade the nation's immigration laws over the course of the twentieth century. Through a nuanced examination of the agency's legal innovations in the Southwest, Kang demonstrates that the agency defined itself not only as a law enforcement unit but also as a lawmaking body. In this role, the INS responded to the interests of local residents, businesses, politicians, and social organizations on both sides of the US-Mexico border as well as policymakers in Washington, DC. Given the sheer variety of local and federal demands, local immigration officials constructed a complex approach to border control, an approach that closed the line in the name of nativism and national security, opened it for the benefit of transnational economic and social concerns, and redefined it as a vast legal jurisdiction for the policing of undocumented immigrants.
Many people learn about Indigenous politics only through the most controversial and confrontational news: the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s efforts to block the Dakota Access Pipeline, for instance, or the battle to protect Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, a site sacred to Native peoples. But most Indigenous activism remains unseen in the mainstream—and so, of course, does its significance. J. Kēhaulani Kauanui set out to change that with her radio program Indigenous Politics. Issue by issue, she interviewed people who talked candidly and in an engaging way about how settler colonialism depends on erasing Native peoples and about how Native peoples can and do resist. Collected here, these conversations speak with clear and compelling voices about a range of Indigenous politics that shape everyday life.
John Moore has focused on the issue of undocumented immigration to the United States for a decade. His access to immigrants during their journey, and to U.S. federal agents tasked with deterring them, sets his pictures apart. Moore has photographed the entire length of the U.S. southern border, and traveled extensively throughout Central America and Mexico, as well as to many immigrant communities in the United States. His work includes rare imagery of ICE raids, mass deportations, and the resulting widespread fear in the immigrant community. For its broad scope and rigorous journalism, Undocumented: Immigration and the Militarization of the United States-Mexico Border is the essential record on the prevailing U.S. domestic topic of immigration and border security.
Five million workers are employed in a variety of settings along the U.S.–Mexico border, yet labor market outcomes on each side often differ. U.S. workers tend to have low earnings and high unemployment compared with the rest of the country, while workers on the Mexican side of the border are often more prosperous than those in the interior. This book sheds new light on these socioeconomic differentials, along with other labor market issues affecting both sides of the border.
This book addresses the three central issues that continue to dominate the U.S.-Mexico relationship today: drugs, immigration, and security. Nowhere is this more palpable than at the 2,000-mile border shared by the two countries.
The only book-length study of the impact on residents of the US-Mexico border of NAFTA's Environmental and Labor Side Accords, which required each state to enforce labor and environmental regulations. Through field research in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, anthropologist Suzanne Simon tests the premise that the side accords would encourage Mexican grassroots democratization. The effectiveness of the side accords was tied to transparency and accountability and practically bound to opportunities for Mexican border populations to participate in the side accord petitioning and civil society input mechanisms. Simon conducted sixteen months of fieldwork with both a group of environmental activists and a group of those fighting for labor justice in Mexico. Both of these groups became enmeshed in the types of cross-border advocacy networks and coalition building efforts that are typical of the NAFTA era.
Mass deportation is at the forefront of political discourse in the United States. The Shadow of the Wall shows in tangible ways the migration experiences of hundreds of people, including their encounters with U.S. Border Patrol, cartels, detention facilities, and the deportation process. Deportees reveal in their heartwrenching stories the power of family separation and reunification and the cost of criminalization, and they call into question assumptions about human rights and federal policies.
Clandestine Crossings delivers an in-depth description and analysis of the experiences of working-class Mexican migrants at the beginning of the twenty-first century as they enter the United States surreptitiously with the help of paid guides known as coyotes. Drawing on ethnographic observations of crossing conditions in the borderlands of South Texas, as well as interviews with migrants, coyotes, and border officials, Spener details how migrants and coyotes work together to evade apprehension by U.S. law enforcement authorities as they cross the border.
Line in the Sand details the dramatic transformation of the western U.S.-Mexico border from its creation at the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848 to the emergence of the modern boundary line in the first decades of the twentieth century. In this sweeping narrative, Rachel St. John explores how this boundary changed from a mere line on a map to a clearly marked and heavily regulated divide between the United States and Mexico. Focusing on the desert border to the west of the Rio Grande, this book explains the origins of the modern border and places the line at the center of a transnational history of expanding capitalism and state power in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
The volume is a cutting-edge, interdisciplinary approach to analyzing an enormously significant region in ways that clarify the kind of everyday life and work that is generated in a major urban global manufacturing site amid insecurity, inequality, and a virtually absent state.
Much political oratory has been devoted to safeguarding America's boundary with Mexico, but policies that militarize the border and criminalize immigrants have overshadowed the region's widespread violence against women, the increase in crossing deaths, and the lingering poverty that spurs people to set out on dangerous northward treks. This book addresses those concerns by focusing on gender-based violence, security, and human rights from the perspective of women who live with both violence and poverty.
Americans from radically different political persuasions agree on the need to “fix” the “broken” US immigration laws to address serious deficiencies and improve border enforcement. In Immigration Law and the US–Mexico Border, Kevin Johnson and Bernard Trujillo focus on what for many is at the core of the entire immigration debate in modern America: immigration from Mexico.
The story of the search for a body, a specific body, one of the thousands of bodies lost in the war against drug trafficking that began more than a decade ago in Mexico. A woman, Antígona González, attempts to narrate the disappearance of Tadeo, her elder brother. She searches for her brother among the dead. San Fernando, Tamaulipas, appears to be the end of her search.
The book, influenced by the work of Eric Wolf and senior editor Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez, centers on the greater Mexican North/U.S. Southwest, although the geographic range extends farther. This tradition, like other transborder approaches, attends to complex and fluid cultural and linguistic processes, going beyond the classical modern anthropological vision of one people, one culture, one language. With respect to recent approaches, however, it is more deeply social, focusing on vertical relations of power and horizontal bonds of mutuality.
Tijuana is the largest of Mexico’s northern border cities, and although it has struggled during the United States’ dramatic escalation of border enforcement, it nonetheless remains deeply connected with California by one of the largest, busiest international ports of entry in the world. In Passing, Rihan Yeh probes the border’s role in shaping Mexican senses of self and collectivity. Drawing on extensive fieldwork, Yeh examines a range of ethnographic evidence: public demonstrations, internet forums, popular music, dinner table discussions, police encounters, workplace banter, intensely personal interviews, and more.