On the morning of July 17 a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles swooped down on Congresswoman Candice Miller’s office in Macomb County, Michigan. Eighteen inches long and made of cardboard, these mini-drones were part of a larger protest. Supplementing the barely-hidden racial anxieties driving much of contemporary U.S. immigration policy, the inclusion of the northern border as an enforcement priority is grounded in a post-9/11 logic of pre-emptive surveillance and "security" at all costs.
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.
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.
Politically powerful officials are saying the U.S. counternarcotic program towards Mexico has not worked, and are calling for a counterinsurgency strategy to replace it. The organized crime "raging along our southern border," they claim, is waging a "strategic-level" of war against the United States.