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"…a powerful, multifaceted study of Mexican and Central American migration to the US that combines historical analysis with a graphic narrative account of the economic and social factors that perpetuate it…[Nevins] reminds us why we must tear down these artificial and illegitimate boundaries and allow migrants to find the same dream of a better life that so many Americans have had the privilege to live."—Gavin O'Toole, The Latin American Review of Books
"Dying to Live is a powerful examination of the messy politics and human consequences of US immigration policies. Joseph Nevins skillfully weaves the personal story of Julio César Gallegos, a migrant who died attempting to cross the US-Mexico boundary, together with detailed historical research to explore the boundary's ideological construction, the USA's 'race-class-nation hierarchy’, and the role of law in shaping Americans’ geographical imagination."
— Nancy Hiemstra, Progress in Human Geography
"Nevins's book, thanks to excellent research and a nuanced application of theory, demonstrates not only professional excellence but also an ongoing commitment to justice and human rights. By calling the entire notion of a 'right to be here' into question, Dying to Live serves as a powerful antidote to nationalistic amnesia on the part of the U.S. public, which has been too willing to embrace a shortsighted version of U.S.-Mexican history. By analyzing enforcement in the space of the border, he has provided an extension of the concept of structural violence. Those of us living in border states, especially Arizona, owe Nevins our appreciation. He shows how one can analyze policy information in a way that clearly communicates how common racial constructions support and extend the state’s use of violence."—North American Congress on Latin America
Joseph Nevins authored Operation Gatekeeper: The Rise of the Illegal Alien and the Making of the U.S.-Mexico Boundary (Routledge, 2002), and A Not-So-Distant Horror (Cornell, 2005). His writings have appeared in the Boston Review, The Christian Science Monitor, and the International Herald Tribune.