Posts by: Joseph Nevins

Jul 13, 2017
Joseph Nevins

What can the assassination of Sister Maura during El Salvador’s civil war teach us about humanity for Central American refugees today?

May 24, 2016
Joseph Nevins

Instead of a “surge” in deportations, the U.S. government should be paying off its imperial debt to Central America.

Apr 23, 2015
Joseph Nevins

By legitimizing exclusionary border policing regimes in the U.S. and EU, groups like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International contribute to ongoing humanitarian crises

Sep 23, 2014
Joseph Nevins

As immigration enforcement and local police continue to merge, bureaucracy has become a crutch on which the U.S. immigration policing apparatus leans.

Jun 19, 2014
Joseph Nevins

The Department of Homeland Security has deported thousands of U.S. military veterans in recent years, giving new meaning to the militarization of the country's borders.

Feb 25, 2014
Joseph Nevins

A shooting by a Border Patrol agent in southern California last week and a recent U.S. drone strike in Yemen that killed members of a weddding party share much: the persistent power of empire and its associated violence along the global "color line."

Jan 16, 2014
Joseph Nevins

A new report documents the detrimental impact on families and communties brought about by the increased Border Patrol presence in the Olympic Peninsula area of Washington State. It also shows the importance and power of resistance to the Border Patrol's efforts to expand its geographical reach.

Jan 7, 2014
Joseph Nevins

Jeh Johnson is the new head of the Department of Homeland Security, and thus oversees matters relating to U.S. immigration and boundary policing. An examination of his record makes clear that the new boss is more or less like the old boss. At the same time, Johnson brings baggage with him that is cause for worry.

Jul 24, 2013
Joseph Nevins

The "life-saving" practices of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security illustrate the pernicious ties between official humanitarianism and a violent regime of immigration policing and exclusion.

Jun 26, 2013
Joseph Nevins

In the wake of the passage of the Corker-Hoeven amendment in the U.S. Senate, last week's sentencing of the Villareal borthers, former Border Patrol agents, on corruption-related charges, is a vauable reminder of the elusive nature of so-called border security.

May 1, 2013
Joseph Nevins

The campaign to "Drop the I-Word" has achieved some significant victories. The challenge now for the campaign—and for all of us who support it—is to realize far greater promise by ensuring that it be strongly linked to efforts to achieve systemic change.

Mar 20, 2013
Joseph Nevins

The notion of security applied by The New York Times in its disucssion of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands and Israel-Palestine obscures much more than it illuminates. In both cases, it helps to legitimate occupation and the associated forms of violence.

Feb 5, 2013
Joseph Nevins

A new report focusing on the Border Patrol's Buffalo Sector in northern New York exposes what is essentially a bounty program—one in which Border Patrol agents receive bonuses for the number of people they arrest. These incentives, combined with larger institutional presures to produce arrests, have resulted in the arrest and detention of large numbers of individuals lawfully present in the United States.

Jan 29, 2013
Joseph Nevins

The number of migrant deaths in Brooks County, in the southern part of Texas, has exploded over the last year.

Jan 9, 2013
Joseph Nevins

A new report from the Migration Policy Institute documents record levels of spending on immigration and boundary policing. Often justified in the name of protecting children, the "border wars" and the diversion of billions of dollars to fund them, not surpriingly, prove ultimately to be quite harmful to children in myriad ways.

Dec 4, 2012
Joseph Nevins

Two recent cases from southern California provide insight into the identity of those who smuggle drugs across the international boundary between Mexico and the United States. More importantly they highlight how the ludicrous “war on drugs” produces casualties of many sorts.

Nov 14, 2012
Joseph Nevins

As talk of "comprehensive immigration reform" resurfaces, remembering Ronald Reagan—and the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA)—reminds us just how radically the discussion surrounding immigration and boundary enforcement has shifted in a restrictionist direction in a short time. It also serves as a warning as to the potential pitfalls immigrant and border community advocates must avoid in the present day.

Oct 17, 2012
Joseph Nevins

On October 10, a U.S Border Patrol agent shot through an opening in the boundary wall and killed José Antonio Elena Rodriguez, 16, in Nogales, Sonora. While the circumstances surrounding the incident remain fuzzy, the shooting appears to have been both unnecessary and easily avoidable. Moreover, it highlights the urgent need to de-escalate the multifaceted “war” in the borderlands and to demilitarize the region.

Aug 22, 2012
Joseph Nevins

From the Dominican-Haitian borderlands to Ireland, the United States is internationalizing its boundary policing. In the process, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is creating the 21st century boundary, one that involves enrolling other countries in U.S. enforcement practices.

Jul 3, 2012
Joseph Nevins

On the late afternoon of Saturday, June 30, members of the Mexican community of greater New York City gathered in Manhattan’s Union Square and cast their ballots in a a symbolic vote for the country’s president. The action illustrates the dynamic nature of the U.S.-Mexico border region, while serving as a manifestation of the ongoing struggle to define it.

Jun 22, 2012
Joseph Nevins

The widespread approval of the Obama administration's recently announced immigration policy initiative—and the profound joy felt by large numbers of unauthorized migrants and their allies and advocates in the United States—is understandable in many ways. But the happiness should not cloud our collective ability to see the serious limits to Obama’s policy change nor, more importantly, dilute energies pushing for more far-ranging transformation of a fundamentally unjust system.

Jun 13, 2012
Joseph Nevins

While the Obama administration made promises last year to focus its “removal” efforts on those who pose dangers to national security and public safety, the overall number of deportations remains very high. The outcome is illustrative of how the deportation machine functions: if it can’t find “bad” migrants to send into exile, it simply produces them.

Jun 6, 2012
Joseph Nevins

Small towns and cities in Washington State may seem like unlikely places for abuses by the Border Patrol, but that is what has emerged there as the agency's presence in the U.S.-Canada borderlands has grown dramatically over the last several years. The situation presents significant challenges for the wellbeing of families and communities in the area, and for civil and human rights more broadly.

May 3, 2012
Joseph Nevins

As the presence of drone in the U.S. borderlands becomes more pronounced, important lessons are to be drawn—from abroad and within the United States—regarding potential dangers ahead. They highlight the need to vigorously contest the the Department of Homeland Security's use of remotely-piloted aircraft for purposes of policing the border region.

Apr 25, 2012
Joseph Nevins

Video footage and eyewitness accounts demonstrating how U.S. federal agents brutally beat Anastasio Hernández Rojas, tased him five times, and ultimately killed him in May 2010—all while he lay on the ground with his arms handcuffed—are calling for accountability. 

Mar 28, 2012
Joseph Nevins

While the Obama administration is touting its new immigration detention guidelines and showing off the federal government’s new detention facility in Karnes County, Texas, the larger picture of immigrant incarceration remains ugly. It is this fundamental reality of inhumanity, as a just-released report from New York University's Immigrant Rights Clinic makes clear, that we must keep our eyes on. 

Mar 21, 2012
Joseph Nevins

A recent visit to Nogales, Arizona, and to the U.S. Border Patrol station there—the country's largest—brings home the dramatic transformation of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands over the last couple of decades. It also illustrates how U.S. authorities are envisioning and laying the groundwork for a "war" without end against what they construct as an endless supply of threats emanating from the Mexican side of the international divide.

Feb 19, 2012
Joseph Nevins

A recent tragedy in the waters separating the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico led to dozens of migrant fatalities. In comparison to the intense reporting on the sinking of the luxury cruise ship, Costa Concordia, off of Italy's coast in January, media coverage of the deaths of Dominican migrants was poor at best. The disparity exemplifies who counts and who doesn't in a world of great inequality.

Feb 1, 2012
Joseph Nevins

The Obama administration is allowing Department of Homeland Security prosecutors to drop low-priority deportation cases, thus allowing some would-be deportees to remain in the United States for now. At the same time, the Border Patrol is implementing a new national strategy, one involving ever-more punitive measures aimed at making the lives of unauthorized migrants more miserable.

Jan 17, 2012
Joseph Nevins

Maintaining inequality and injustice requires work, and the policing of the associated boundaries between the privileged and the disadvantaged. Increasingly, young people are involved in the project of exclusion—in the borderlands of the United States and Mexico, and Israel-Palestine.

Jan 4, 2012
Joseph Nevins

As 2011 statistics demonstrate, violence continues to scar the U.S.-Mexico border, and climate change will likely intensify it. As recent publications suggest, declining agricultural output and gross socio-economic inequality between Mexico, Central America, and the United States are likely to increase unauthorized migration and militarized efforts to stymie it.

Dec 14, 2011
Joseph Nevins

A recent report on Border Patrol transportation raids in northern New York State demonstrates how "security" penetrates society in a virus-like fashion: it goes wherever it can. This has been reality in the post-9/11 era, where the Border Patrol has increasingly focused on interior enforcement, with harmful implications for human and civil rights.

Nov 30, 2011
Joseph Nevins

Last Friday, 18-year-old Joaquin Luna shot and killed himself in south Texas. Luna, an unauthorized immigrant who had lived in the United States since the age of six months, had become increasingly depressed about his life prospects given his immigration status and the defeat of the DREAM Act. His untimely passing highlights the complicated ways in which the systems of immigration enforcement and state exclusion produce deadly forms of violence.

Nov 7, 2011
Joseph Nevins

A new report illustrates the tragic intersection of immigration policing and child welfare. Like the "collateral damage" brought about about by U.S.-war-making abroad, harm to children is an inevitable consequence of the ongoing "war" on  immigrants characterized as undesirable.

Nov 2, 2011
Joseph Nevins

The Day of the Dead in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands is a time to remember the countless migrants who have perished trying to overcome the ever-hardening boundary and immigration enforcement apparatus.

Oct 19, 2011
Joseph Nevins

The human right to work is increasingly under attack in the United States, especially for unauthorized immigrants. The recent case of The French Gourmet restaurant in San Diego shows how bad things have become. It also highlights the need for human rights and migrant rights activists to directly challenge a system that criminalizes non-citizens for laboring without official sanction.

Oct 5, 2011
Joseph Nevins

Deportation does great damage to families who are often divided by the U.S.-Mexico boundary. The hardships that deported migrants endure and their great efforts to overcome the obstacles that prevent them from reuniting with their loved ones in el Norte exemplify at their very best the "family values" that many in Washington rhetorically and emptily champion.

Sep 20, 2011
Joseph Nevins

A major report released today by the humanitarian aid and human rights group No More Deaths paints a frightening picture of systematic and widespread abuse by U.S. Border Patrol agents of migrants in their custody. At the same time, it demonstrates the brutality inherent in the agency’s very existence and operation.

Sep 7, 2011
Joseph Nevins

A former U.S. Border Patrol and ICE agent offers a perpective on immigration and boundary enforcement almost never heard of in the halls of power in the United States.

Aug 24, 2011
Joseph Nevins

The Department of Homeland Security has revealed that it is employing a new radar system—called VADER—that has significantly augmented its ability to surveil the borderlands and the people passing through from high up in the sky.

Aug 17, 2011
Joseph Nevins

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement promised in June to be more discriminating in terms of who it targets for arrest and deportation. A recent raid of a home in southern California, however, shows the hollowness of the pledge. It also displays the inherent dangers of the immigration policing apparatus for civil and human rights.

Aug 10, 2011
Joseph Nevins

Given the impossibility of U.S. drug interdiction efforts in the borderlands, the beauty of the drug war for those championing—and profiting from—its undertaking is that there can never be enough resources. In this regard, nothing succeeds like failure.

Aug 5, 2011
Joseph Nevins

Latino households in the United States experienced a record decline in wealth in 2005-2009. It looks like U.S. immigration and border enforcement is significantly to blame.

Jul 27, 2011
Joseph Nevins

A recent report reveals that large increases in the number of individuals deported for drunk driving, minor traffic violations, and violations of immigration law have played a significant role in fueling the dramatic rise in immigrant deportations from the United States over the last few years. In doing so, it illustrates the dangers of embracing the slippery slope of deportation and the immigration enforcement apparatus more broadly—an error committed by all-too-many advocates of comprehensive immigration reform.

Jul 13, 2011
Joseph Nevins

Recent reports indicate that the number of Mexican migrants entering the United States outside of authorized channels has declined markedly over the last several years. The question is, why? Among other matters, the answers point to the necessity of achieving livelihoods of dignity and socio-economic security in migrant-sending areas so as to allow the people who live there the option--indeed the right--to stay home.

Jun 28, 2011
Joseph Nevins

This past Sunday, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas "outed" himself as an "illegal alien" in the pages of The New York Times Magazine. The reaction of many in the media establishment has been to dwell on Vargas's practices of deception that allowed him to "pass" for so long. In doing so, these pundits obscure and normalize the apartheid-like system which denies unauthorized immigrants many basic rights, and their complicity in its perpetuation.

Jun 14, 2011
Joseph Nevins

On June 9, Alabama governor Robert Bentley signed into law what many see as the harshest anti-immigrant bill passed thus far by any U.S. state. H.B. (House Bill) 56, also known as the “Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act,” exceeds Arizona’s infamous S.B. 1070 in its ambition. Failing federal intervention to block it, the bulk of the law is scheduled to go into effect on September 1.

May 31, 2011
Joseph Nevins
May 18, 2011
Joseph Nevins