Summary Of Migra ! A History Of The US Border Patrol

1267 Words6 Pages

In the book “Migra! A History of the U.S Border Patrol, author Kelly Lytle Hernandez describes the history of the U.S border patrol from the 1920s to the end of the twentieth century. Specifically, Hernandez writes about how the border patrol has changed its target or “suspect” from Chinese and European immigrants to Mexican people. In her book and through research of unexamined old material in the U.S and Mexico, Hernandez examines how Mexicans emerged as the United States “iconic illegal aliens” (Hernandez Pg. 2). In this paper I will examine Hernandez discussion of long term effects of border patrol discourses and practices in creating a prototypical suspect as well as compare her argument with that of Samual P. Huntington in his …show more content…

It all starts with the United States passing the Immigration Act of 1907, which was a law that “required all immigrants entering the United States to pass through an official port of entry, submit themselves to inspection, and receive official authorization to legally enter the United States” (Hernandez pg 1). The United States quickly became a nation severely divided over the issues of illegal immigration. In May of 1924 the border patrol was created to enforce immigration laws and restrictions by preventing illegal border crossings and policing the borderland regions. Despite many possible subjects or ‘suspects’ of illegal immigration, such as Asians, Europeans, and prostitutes, the U.S border patrol almost exclusively focused on Mexican immigrant workers. Then in the 1940s, the focus of the U.S border patrol shifted to the southern border. According to Hernandez, “ Mexicans in the borderlands, regardless of immigration of citizenship status, were subject to high levels of suspicion, surveillance, and state violence as border patrol officers aggressively policed not only the U.S and Mexico border but also Mexican communities and work sites” (Hernandez Pg. 2). In her book, Hernandez tells the story of how Mexican immigrant workers became …show more content…

Huntington’s article is an example of how the inequity and racisms in the history of the border that Hernandez discussed has been carried out and resulted in immigrant bashing and ethnic prejudice being mainstreamed. Huntington’s article is composed of six factors of concern: contiguity, scale, illegality, regional concentration, persistence, and historical presence. When looked at carefully and analyzed, Huntington’s article is nothing more than hate disguised as academic media. Huntington refers to and talks about these immigrants as the main “suspects” of illegal immigration and the cause of many issues in the U.S. Huntington holds a Anglo perspective on the issue of immigration, the same perspective and ideas that the border patrol officers of the past had, explained by Hernandez in her book. Huntington states, “ Anglo protestant values built the American dream” (Huntington). Huntington is an example of the racisms and inequity that was seen in the history of the border patrol. In conclusion, Huntington’s article shows us the long term effects the past issues of border patrol have had on their present image and that Mexicans are very much still

More about Summary Of Migra ! A History Of The US Border Patrol

Open Document