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Friday, July 7 • 2:00pm - 3:30pm
The Border Crossed Us: Economics and Politics of the U.S.-Mexico Border

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The U.S.-Mexico border that exists today was outcome of an 1846 war in which the United States annexed large portions of what had been Mexico. Since then, the border, and its control, has been alternately opened and closed—a double-edged sword against migrants brought in as cheap labor and then vilified as scapegoats and deported when the economy turned sour. The militarization of the almost 2,000 mile long U.S.-Mexico border began in earnest in the mid 1990s, and increased dramatically after 9/11, particularly after the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003. Politicians present the border as a “war zone” where drugs, terrorism, and criminal “aliens” threaten the United States. The much-touted wall Trump promises to build in fact already exists across about 700 miles of the border. Indeed, over the past 24 years, money spent on border enforcement has increased fourteen times (to $3.8 billion in 2015) and the number of border patrol agents by five times, to almost 40,000. This talk will integrate the questions of ideology, politics, and economics to present a comprehensive picture of the border, its history, and the struggles of migrant workers.

avatar for Justin Akers Chacón

Justin Akers Chacón

Justin Akers Chacón is an educator, activist, and writer living in the San Diego-Tijuana border region. He is co-author of No One is Illegal: Fighting Racism and State Violence on the U.S.-Mexico Border (with Mike Davis), and author of the forthcoming Radicals in the Barrio... Read More →

Friday July 7, 2017 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Burnham A/B