Border Patrol Nation: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Homeland Security

Todd Miller, Author
Todd Miller. City Lights, $16.95 trade paper (300p) ISBN 978-0-87286-631-7
Reviewed on: 01/13/2014
Release date: 03/01/2014
Journalist Miller tells an alarming story of U.S. Border Patrol and Homeland Security’s ever-widening reach into the lives of American citizens and legal immigrants as well as the undocumented. He describes the militarization of the Border Patrol and concurrent dehumanizing of “unauthorized” persons; American citizens routinely harassed and arrested in Constitution-free zones that extend 100 miles from all borders; the expulsion of a exemplary Border Patrol agent for expressing his Mexican identity in casual conversation; and the Border Patrol’s Explorer Academy for children, which, with its lock-step marching, black boots, law-enforcement training, and indoctrination is eerily evocative of fascism and Hitler Youth. Miller reveals the “complex and industrial world” looming behind the border patrol, spanning “robotics, engineers, salespeople and detention centers” and the new generation of Explorers. “It is the world in which we now live,” he states, “where eradicating border violations is given higher priority than eradicating malnutrition, poverty, homelessness, illiteracy, [and] unemployment.” In addition to readers interested in immigration issues, those concerned about the NSA’s privacy violations will likely be even more shocked by the actions of Homeland Security. (Mar.)
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