Articles by: Todd Miller
Greeting climate-change victims with a man-made dystopia
Trump's America already exists on the border.
How the U.S. Border Patrol has turned Native American lands near the U.S.-Mexico border into a de facto war zone.
An excerpt from Todd Miller's book Border Patrol Nation exposes the Tohono O’odham community's perseverence in the face of the increasing militarization on its ancestral lands.
Among the villains in the crosshairs of the Department of Homeland Security’s $57 billion 2012 Fiscal Year budget are coyotes, the smugglers migrants often hire to help them enter the United States without authorization. The border enforcement part of this budget, which supports an all-time high number of agents and officers, will in part focus on taking down these "criminals." However the book, Clandestine Crossings, by David Spener, directly challenges this "discursive" and costly fable about coyotes, and in doing so reveals that coyotes play an essential role for migrants trying to resist a blatantly unjust system.
Even though a federal judge blocked key controversial provisions of Arizona's new immigration legislation, one of the harshest anti-immigrant laws ever passed in the United States still went into effect on July 29 in that state. This law, however, didn't come out of thin air. The "zero tolerance" logic behind the law mimics what has already been established by the federal government. Indeed, the confluence of these immigration, military, border, and economic policies in Arizona has not only made it the country’s primary laboratory for draconian immigration policies, but also connects the U.S. border zone to a broader international context of “global apartheid.”
This article originally appeared in the July/August 2010 edition of NACLA Report on the Americas.
After January's earthquake in Haiti, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security immediately implemented a mass migration plan to manage any influx of refugees coming from the country. Coast Guard spokesperson Lt. Chris O'Neil said that "The goal is to interdict them at sea and repatriate them." O’Neil’s declaration reflects the same much-criticized immigration policy that the United States has implemented toward Haiti for dozens of years, a strategy that often corrals the blowback of a long history of U.S. meddling in Haitian internal affairs—both politically and economically. This blowback could be even more explosive now with 1.2 million homeless Haitians living in the squalor of tent cities.
Following the modern recipe for corporate enterprise, the directors of Mexico's increasingly powerful murder-for-hire firm, the Zetas, have begun to diversify from the company's principal activity of providing armed enforcement for the drug-trafficking Gulf Cartel. According to U.S. and Mexican officials, the group has gone into the lucrative business of stealing and selling contraband gasoline. It steals from Mexico's nationalized petroleum company PEMEX, and resells to Texas oil companies, including one run by a former Bush administration insider.
On June 20, 2009, soldiers set up a military checkpoint in Huamuxtitlan, a small town in the La Montaña region of the state of Guerrero, one of Mexico's many drug-war hot spots. They called a northbound passenger bus to a halt, searched it for drugs and weapons, and detained a passenger named Fausto Valera because he was wearing military-style boots. Perhaps suspecting that he was an insurgent, the soldiers demanded to know where he got the boots. When his answers failed to satisfy them, they placed him under arrest. The incredulous bus driver asked the soldiers to note in his log book that Valera was in their custody. After some complaining, they reluctantly did so.