Date of Degree

6-2021

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

International Migration Studies

Advisor

Jamie Longazel

Subject Categories

Migration Studies

Keywords

San Antonio, border, security, migration, CBP

Abstract

This is a long-form essay exploring the politics and power at play along the U.S.-Mexico border. My objective with this piece was to better understand how and why this increasingly militarized border has grown in the past decades, as well as who is profiting and who is suffering because of this growth. To do this I relied on academic theorists, journalism and on-the-ground research. I discovered that the year I visited The Border Security Expo was also the year that Customs and Border Patrol saw their biggest ever budget, and I gained insight into what they spent this budget on. I learned that there is a long and contested history in the region over who gets to call the land their own and who gets to cross the border freely, in history and in the present the border is racialized and violent and has attracted a large number of profiteers, making it something of a border industrial complex. I include my own perspective as a European immigrant with a vastly different immigration experience than those making the trip across the Southern Border and query just whose lives matter in the United States.

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