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.
“Empire of Borders reveals how the United States has effectively extended its borders throughout the globe, giving rise to a worldwide enforcement network that is highly militarized and profoundly dehumanizing. At a time when more people than ever before find their lives thrust against violent lines of separation, Todd Miller helps us understand the omnipresence of borders as an imminent threat to our shared humanity—a collective sickness that must be reckoned with before it forever reshapes our world.”
“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.”
“Todd Miller’s Empire of Borders is an indispensable guide to our bunkered, barb-wired world. For more than a decade, well before Donald Trump landed in the White House, Miller’s reporting has revealed the conceits of globalization, documenting the slow, steady garrisoning of US politics behind ever more brutal border policies. Now, with Empire of Borders, he looks outward, to a world overrun with so many border walls it looks more like a maze than a shared planet. If there’s a way out, Miller will find it.”