Border Patrol Nation

By Todd Miller,

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

Book description

"In his scathing and deeply reported examination of the U.S. Border Patrol, Todd Miller argues that the agency has gone rogue since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, trampling on the dignity and rights of the undocumented with military-style tactics...Miller's book arrives at a moment when it appears that part of…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked Border Patrol Nation as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

The insistence that migration is a ‘crisis’ has led to a greater willingness to take enforcement as more urgent than human rights. Todd Miller’s book is a moral argument about the costs of that bargain. He argues that the powers given to those who enforce borders have led to abusive and violent practices at the border—and, increasingly, within the United States itself. The book is sobering, but important—and it should worry all of us, citizen and migrant alike.

I had trouble deciding which of Todd’s books to include in this list because they are all so good. I picked Border Patrol Nation because it does such a great job explaining the growth of the Border Patrol in the post-September 11 era. Todd has an eye for the telling detail and he uses his storytelling ability to trace the transformation of Customs and Border Protection from a small, obscure agency into the largest police force in the United States.

From Reece's list on US Border Patrol.

Miller makes the case that border security is an issue that applies to nearly every American—even if they don’t realize it. He paints a vivid picture of how pervasive Border Patrol has become in our national culture and economy, as the largest law enforcement agency in the country with jurisdiction over two-thirds of Americans and biometric data on 250 million citizens already stored away in the agency’s surveillance database. 

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