The twenty-first century has been an era of hardening borders—increased borderland patrols, surveillance and militarization are widening the chasm between those who vacation (or do business) where they please, and others whose movements are restricted by armed guards. But as journalist Todd Miller finds in Empire of Borders, the US border is also becoming increasingly fluid, expanding thousands of miles outside of US territory often to protect Washington’s interests.
In places like Argentina, Kosovo, Honduras, Jordan and Afghanistan, US border patrol works alongside local agents to block migrants, terrorists, drug runners and smugglers from approaching the United States. Empire of Borders traces the rise of this border regime, along with practices of “extreme vetting” and the vast global industry for border and homeland security. But in visiting Syria, Guatemala, Kenya, Palestine, Mexico and the Philippines, Miller instead finds a global war against the poor.