Have you ever wondered how the Border Patrol got so much power? How it can roll into places like Portland, Oregon, in unmarked vehicles and snatch protesters off the streets? Or why it is permitted to racially profile? In this discussion with the prolific geographer Reece Jones, author of the new book Nobody Is Protected: How the Border Patrol Became the Most Dangerous Police Force in the United States (Counterpoint, 2022), we tackle these questions and more.
This is his fourth book on borders, which include White Borders: The History of Race and Immigration in the United States from Chinese Exclusion to the Border Wall (Beacon, 2021), Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move (Verso, 2017), and Border Walls: Security and the War on Terror in the United States, India, and Israel (Zed, 2012). You can read an interview that The Border Chronicle did with Reece in October aboutWhite Borders here.
I have learned so much from Reece’s extensive scholarship and research into borders, and Nobody Is Protected is no different. He writes this history of the Border Patrol in vivid, page-turning prose. Trust me, you won’ t want to put this book down. In the introduction he frames the book through three key stories: Portland (as mentioned above), a critical 1970s era Supreme Court case (listen and you’ll understand its importance), and an experience he had a decade ago of being pulled over five times by the Border Patrol in one hour. Our discussion begins here and ends with the question of whether the Border Patrol can be reformed. Please leave us a comment on the interview or about your experiences with Border Patrol in your community.
The Border Chronicle is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.