|First Published: 2013-11-19
All around the world from Guatemala and South Africa to Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency has been focused on other people’s borders and the forces to be created and trained to guard them. In this piece, Todd Miller explores the way the very idea of US ‘borders’ is being stretched in all sorts of complex ways.
It isn’t exactly the towering 20-foot wall that runs like a scar through significant parts of the U.S.-Mexican borderlands. Imagine instead the sort of metal police barricades you see at protests. These are unevenly lined up like so many crooked teeth on the Dominican Republic’s side of the river that acts as its border with Haiti. Like dazed versions of U.S. Border Patrol agents, the armed Dominican border guards sit at their assigned posts, staring at the opposite shore. There, on Haitian territory, children splash in the water and women wash clothes on rocks.
by Curt Prendergast
Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 9:00 am | Updated: 9:35 am, Fri Aug 30, 2013.
By Curt Prendergast
Nogales International | 2 comments
On top of a hill east of Nogales, a mobile surveillance tower manned by a Border Patrol agent keeps watch on the border fence approximately a mile below.
The tower, which sits in the bed of a pickup truck, may soon be replaced with a permanent structure planted in the ground. And in order to make that a reality, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is seizing small pieces of land east of Nogales, spawning frustration among the owners of the seized land that stretches like a snake from the end of Royal Road into the river valley.
This is not the first time that DHS has demanded that property owners in Santa Cruz County make way for border security infrastructure. Read more
By TODD MILLER Published: August 17, 2013 169 Comments
THREE generations of Loews have worked the family’s 63 acres in Amado, Ariz. In the last 20 years, the Loew family harvested thousands of pounds of onions, garlic and pumpkins without incident. So Stewart Loew, 44, who was born and raised on the farm, was surprised when he went to irrigate his fields one night and found himself surrounded by federal agents.
Pointing to the fires about 200 feet away that Mr. Loew lit to keep warm while he irrigated his fields, one of the agents slogged out of the ankle deep water in the irrigation ditch and asked Mr. Loew what he was doing.
“I’m irrigating, dude,” said Mr. Loew, who was in his pajamas. “What are you doing?”
“Don’t ‘dude’ me, I’m a federal officer,” the Border Patrol agent said, and demanded Mr. Loew’s identification.
Since Mr. Loew did not carry his wallet in his pajama pocket, the agents followed him into his house; a local police officer, who knew the Loew family, had already arrived, vouched for Mr. Loew’s identity and assured the federal agents that Mr. Loew posed no threat to the homeland or national security, and the agents left without comment or apology.
This kind of brush with law enforcement would have been unthinkable to previous generations of farmers here. But these run-ins have become increasingly common in the rugged, hilly desert stretch along the southern borderlands where, in the post-9/11 world, everyone — even farmers in pajamas — is a potential threat. Read more