The Three U.S.-Mexico Border Wars: Drugs, Immigration, and Homeland Security

Greenwood Publishing Group
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As the United States' response to the attacks of September 11, 2001, begins to take its final shape, perhaps the most affected area of the country is the U.S. borderlands with Mexico. The optimistic talk of the 1990s regarding trade, investment, and economic integration in North America has given way to a rhetoric focused on security, particularly securing and controlling all points of entry to and exit from the United States. Cities and towns across the Southwestern border have experienced firsthand the consequences of the new, security-oriented national ethos and practices embodied in the Homeland Security Act of 2002. The comprehensive security strategy now in place permeates the three border wars examined in this insightful work the war on drugs, the war over the enforcement of immigration laws, and the war on terror. As Payan demonstrates, the effects of these three wars have been significant. They include a loss of local autonomy and a disconnect between the priorities of Washington, D.C., and the local populations. Perhaps more important, they have created a rigid international line that represents a barrier to economic, social, and cultural integration and a source of fear and suspicion between neighbors.

Payan traces the history of these policies on the border to discern and understand the evolutionary patterns and common threads that join all three policies together today. He argues that historically the border has experienced a gradual tightening and increasing militarization, culminating in today's restrictive environment. This book illuminates the ways in which border residents are coping with the stricter border security environment, and how they navigate their daily lives in the face of an increasing number of federal bureaucrats and programs designed to close the border. It examines the significant conflict between the government's efforts to close the border and the border communities' efforts to open it.

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About the author

Tony Payan is Assistant Professor of International Relations and Foreign Policy at the University of Texas, El Paso. He is the author of Cops, Soldiers, and Diplomats: Explaining Agency Behavior in the Drug War (2006).

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Additional Information

Publisher
Greenwood Publishing Group
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Published on
Dec 31, 2006
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Pages
164
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ISBN
9780275988180
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Law Enforcement
Social Science / Emigration & Immigration
Social Science / Ethnic Studies / Hispanic American Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Tony Payan
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Tony Payan
More than forty years have passed since President Richard Nixon described illegal drugs as “public enemy number one” and declared a “War on Drugs.” Recently the United Nations Global Commission on Drug Policy declared that “the global war on drugs has failed with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world.” Arguably, no other country has suffered as much from the War on Drugs as Mexico. From 2006 to 2012 alone, at least sixty thousand people have died. Some experts have said that the actual number is more than one hundred thousand. Because the war was conceived and structured by US policymakers and officials, many commentators believe that the United States is deeply implicated in the bloodshed.

A War that Can’t Be Won is the first book to include contributions from scholars on both sides of the US–Mexico border. It provides a unique breadth of perspective on the many dimensions of the societal crisis that affects residents of both nations—particularly those who live and work in the borderlands. It also proposes practical steps toward solving a crisis that shows no signs of abating under current policies. Each chapter is based on well-documented data, including previously unavailable evidence that was obtained through freedom-of-information inquiries in Mexico. By bringing together views from both sides of the border, as well as from various academic disciplines, this volume offers a much wider view of a complex problem—and possible solutions.
Tony Payan
There is a broad consensus that the United States’ immigration system is broken, yet the political momentum behind the movement has not yet led to a consensus on how to fix it. This momentum has stemmed from the agreement that we have an immigration “crisis” on our hands – millions of undocumented immigrants living and working in the United States under increasingly harsh conditions, tremendous spending on border security and enforcement measures without protection of civil rights, changing voter demographics, and other pressing issues have ushered in the moment for immigration reform. This book presents research and policy recommendations from leading U.S. immigration experts and scholars, who have many valuable insights and nuanced perspectives to offer to the current debate on immigration reform. The goal of this immigration study is to disseminate knowledge and policy recommendations to scholars, government officials, the media, and the general policy community on vital issues regarding the present question of immigration reform. This book discusses the future prospects of immigration reform and delves into various details, options, and obstacles related to immigration reform. The chapters presented shed light on a number of issues that are currently being debated in the immigration bill. Some of them address the salience of the immigration issue in Latino political behavior and the impact of demographic context. Other papers hone in on the landscape of legislative initiatives addressing immigration at the state and local levels, and some authors address the implications of immigration reform for the labor market and economic climate. The book will be of interest to both scholars and policy-makers concerned with immigration in the United States.
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