JOURNALIST AND WRITER
This report examines the role of the world’s largest arms (as well as a number of other security and IT) firms in shaping and profiting from the militarization of US borders. Through their campaign contributions, lobbying, constant engagement with government officials, and the revolving door between industry and government, these border security corporations and their …
The driver of the passenger van pulled onto the shoulder of the road, looked back, and said, “There’s an immigration checkpoint up ahead. Does everyone have their papers?” We were just north of the Guatemalan border, outside the town of Ciudad Hidalgo in the Mexican state of Chiapas. There were 10 of us in the …
In 2008, performance artist Pilvi Takala took her seat as a new employee at the company Deloitte, a global consulting firm, and began to stare into space. When asked by other employees what she was doing, she said, “brain work” or that she was working “on her thesis.” One day she rode the elevator up …
“Joining meticulous documentation and vivid on-the-ground research in multiple border hot spots around the planet, Todd Miller pulls the veil off the layers of borders and their policing that shape our world, revealing a stunning and terrifying reality. The artificiality of borders, and the commitment of the world’s wealthy and powerful to preserve their wealth and power through them, have never been so clearly laid out.” Aviva Chomsky, author of Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal
The twenty-first century has witnessed the rapid hardening of international borders. Security, surveillance, and militarization are widening the chasm between those who travel where they please and those whose movements are restricted. But that is only part of the story. As journalist Todd Miller reveals in Empire of Borders, the nature of US borders has changed. These boundaries have effectively expanded thousands of miles outside of US territory to encircle not simply American land but Washington’s interests. Resources, training, and agents from the United States infiltrate the Caribbean and Central America; they reach across the Canadian border; and they go even farther afield, enforcing the division between Global South and North.
The highly publicized focus on a wall between the United States and Mexico misses the bigger picture of strengthening border enforcement around the world.
Empire of Borders is a tremendous work of narrative investigative journalism that traces the rise of this border regime. It delves into the practices of “extreme vetting,” which raise the possibility of “ideological” tests and cyber-policing for migrants and visitors, a level of scrutiny that threatens fundamental freedoms and allows, once again, for America’s security concerns to infringe upon the sovereign rights of other nations.
In Syria, Guatemala, Kenya, Palestine, Mexico, the Philippines, and elsewhere, Miller finds that borders aren’t making the world safe—they are the frontline in a global war against the poor.
Recipient of the 2018 Izzy Award for excellence in investigative journalism.
“Every so often a book comes along that can dramatically change, or elevate, one’s thinking about a global problem. Much like Naomi Klein’s books, Todd Miller’s Storming the Wall is such a book and deserves far more attention and discussion.”––Izzy Award Judges, Ithaca College
Description from the back cover:
In Storming the Wall, Todd Miller travels around the world to connect the dots between climate-ravaged communities, the corporations cashing in on border militarization, and emerging movements for sustainability and environmental justice. Reporting from the flashpoints of climate clashes, and from likely sites of futures battles, Miller chronicles a growing system of militarized divisions between the rich and the poor, the environmentally secure and the environmentally exposed. Kirkus Reviews called it “A galvanizing forecast of global warming’s endgame and a powerful indictment of America’s current stance.”
“Scathing and deeply reported . . . quite possibly the right book at the right time”—Los Angeles Times
Description from the back cover:
In fast-paced prose, Miller sounds an alarm as he chronicles the changing landscape. Travelling the country—and beyond—to speak with the people most involved with and impacted by the Border Patrol, he combines these first-hand encounters with careful research to expose a vast and booming industry for high-end technology, weapons, surveillance, and prisons. While politicians and corporations reap substantial profits, the experiences of millions of men, women, and children point to staggering humanitarian consequences. Border Patrol Nation shows us in stark relief how the entire country has become a militarized border zone, with consequences that affect us all.