In geographer Reece Jones’s new book, White Borders: The History of Race and Immigration in the United States from Chinese Exclusion to the Border Wall, he tells the sweeping history of racism in immigration law and border policing. This is the University of Hawai‘i professor’s seventh book (either as an author or an editor) examining border and immigration issues. White Borders begins at the infamous Charlottesville white nationalist march in 2017 (“You! Will not! Replace us!”) and ends with a meditation on the Statue of Liberty via a press conference run by Donald Trump’s senior immigration adviser, Stephen Miller. With vivid storytelling and incisive analysis, Jones unpacks the U.S. history that brought Trump to power and exposes the white nationalism that is inherent to border enforcement no matter who sits in the Oval Office. I asked him several questions about the book on its publication day, October 12. I was particularly interested in how the history he uncovers in White Borders connects with what we see on the border today.
Read the interview here.