US-Mexican Borderlands: A Region in Crisis?
A conversation on contemporary US-Mexican border policing, its historical precedents, and its socio-political, cultural, ecological and humanitarian repercussions.
US plans to end the COVID-era order blocking asylum seekers at the Mexico border have refueled discussions about the causes and effects of Title 42, which when it was invoked by the Trump administration on March 20, 2020, suspended the fundamental right to seek protection and asylum for people who arrived at the US border with Mexico. The execution of Title 42 and increased border policing in the recent past led to millions of migrant expulsions and unimaginable suffering of those awaiting processing, not to mention the separation of hundreds of children from their parents, many of whom have still not been reunited. In addition, tighter border control has grave consequences for Indigenous communities whose territories predate the settler colonial political border between the United States and Mexico, which was drawn irrespective of Indigenous land claims. The border region seems to be in crisis indeed. However, looking at the violent past of the southern border, we might consider it as “just” part of an ever recurring, albeit no less disturbing, familiar pattern of racialized white supremacist border politics. This interview was conducted to explore this ongoing state of emergency and to understand its underlying cultural politics.