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Border Wars

Border Wars

Tom Barry
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: MIT Press
Pages: 200
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  • Book Info
    Border Wars
    Book Description:

    The Tea Party and its allies celebrate the rogue states of the Southwest as a model for the nation in their go-it-alone posturing and tough immigration-enforcement talk. In Border Wars, dogged investigative journalist Tom Barry documents the costs of that model: lives lost; families torn apart; billions of wasted tax dollars; vigilantes prowling the desert; and fiscal crises in cities, counties, and states. Even worse, he warns, the entire nation risks following their lead. As Barry explains, the lack of coherent federal policy on immigration and drug war conduct and the uncritical embrace of all things in the name of national security has opened doors for opportunists from boardrooms to governor's offices in Texas and Arizona. Corporate-prison magnates eagerly swallow up undocumented immigrants into taxpayer-funded dungeons, border sheriffs and politicians trade on voters' fears of Latinos and "big government," and pro-business policy institutes and lobbyists battle the public interest. Border Wars offers a stark portrait of the domestic cost of failed federal leadership in the post-9/11 era.

    eISBN: 978-0-262-29902-2
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. I-IV)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. V-VI)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. IX-XX)

    The flag flutters at half-mast at the Border Patrol checkpoint not far from the remote West Texas town of Sierra Blanca, in Hudspeth Country. Extending to the west, as far as you can see, are two lines of trucks and cars waiting for inspection.

    To the south, a ribbon of dense riparian vegetation in the distance parallels the march of Interstate 10 from El Paso. On the other side lies Mexico and one of the deadliest places in the world—the killing fields of the Valle de Juárez in the border state of Chihuahua.

    Both the highway checkpoint and the...

  4. 1 A Death in Texas
    (pp. 1-62)

    County Clerk Dianne Florez noticed it first. Plumes of smoke were rising outside the small West Texas town of Pecos. “The prison is burning again,” she announced.

    About a month and a half before, on December 12, 2008, inmates had rioted to protest the death of one of their own, Jesus Manuel Galindo. When the 32-year-old Galindo’s body was removed from the prison in what looked to them like a large black trash bag, they set fire to the recreational center and occupied the exercise yard overnight. Using smuggled cell phones, they told worried family members and the media about...

  5. 2 At War in Texas
    (pp. 65-110)

    Heads bowed in prayer, we stand at a bucolic spot on the banks of the Rio Grande known by locals as Neely’s Crossing. Like most of West Texas, there is nothing here. On the other side, drug wars have turned Mexican border towns in the Valle de Juárez and elsewhere into killing grounds.

    As Hudspeth County deputies armed with AR-15 semi-automatic weapons stand guard, we close in around Reverend Jim Garlow. “Lord, we thank you Lord for gathering us here,” he says. “We thank you for all you have given us and our great nation. We ask you Lord to...

  6. 3 Securing Arizona
    (pp. 113-148)

    A sense of solidarity led the Tea Party Patriots to Phoenix for their American Policy Summit in February 2011. It’s “our opportunity to support the citizens of Arizona in their current political battles that carry so many national implications,” the organizers of the Summit said. Arizona’s capital, according to the Patriots, is “the great southwestern city, born from the ruins of a former civilization, now the rebirth place of American culture.”

    In the previous year, a few signature events—the March 2010 killing of border rancher Rob Krenz; the passage the following month of the immigration-control law SB 1070; and...

  7. 4 A New Day in the Sunbelt
    (pp. 151-166)

    Since 9/11 a border security juggernaut has swept across the Southwest. But even as billions of dollars flow, fear and alarm about the insecurity of the border have deepened, and demands that the government do still more have grown increasingly strident. Ten years after our rush to secure our borders, it is time to change course.

    Continuing the drug wars and immigration crackdowns will do nothing to increase security or safety. It will only keep border policy on the edge—teetering without direction, burdened by our failed immigration and drug policies.

    Unless we address border policy in conjunction with drug...

    (pp. 167-167)
  9. Back Matter
    (pp. 168-169)