JOURNALIST AND WRITER
Dotted throughout the Arizona-Sonora borderlands are more than forty new surveillance towers, the backbone of a “virtual wall” — the newest symbol of the border’s ever-expanding fortification. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has equipped the towers with sophisticated long-range, night vision, infrared cameras, and wide-ranging ground-sweeping radar. All of the feeds go into the command-and-control centers …
Although Arriaga, Chiapas, a town of 25,000 people, was 150 miles away from the Guatemalan border, it had the feeling of a border town. Up until the summer of 2014, it thrummed with Central Americans, many of whom would congregate in the train yard that divided Arriaga in two. But in July, it changed dramatically, …
In March 2018, Joaquin Estevan was on his way back home to Sells, Ariz., after a routine journey to fetch three pots for ceremonial use from the Tohono O’odham community of Kom Wahia in Sonora, Mexico (where he grew up)—a trek his ancestors have made for thousands of years. His cousin dropped him off on …
“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.
Todd Miller has researched and written about border issues for more than 15 years, the last eight as an independent journalist and writer. He resides in Tucson, Arizona, but also has spent many years living and working in Oaxaca, Mexico. His work has appeared in the New York Times, TomDispatch, The Nation, San Francisco Chronicle, In These Times, Guernica, and Al Jazeera English, among other places.
Miller has authored three books: The forthcoming Empire of Borders: The Expansion of the U.S. Border Around the World (Verso, 2019), Storming the Wall: Climate Change, Migration, and Homeland Security (City Lights, 2017), and Border Patrol Nation: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Homeland Security (City Lights, 2014).
He’s a contributing editor on border and immigration issues for NACLA Report on the Americas and its column “Border Wars”.