From Publishers Weekly
Mexico's foreign minister from 2000 to 2003, now a political science professor at New York University, delivers a timely consideration of the complex contemporary relationship between Mexico and the United States. Going beyond the importance of undocumented workers to the American economy, Castañeda (Compañero: The Life and Death of Che Guevara) tackles the effects of migration on Mexico, as well as root causes such as multiple, destabilizing financial crises and the exacerbating influence of the North American Free Trade Agreement. A member of President Vincente Fox's administration, Castaneda goes inside the bold reformer's attempts to improve the lot of his people, including the ups and downs of negotiations with an enthusiastic, freshly elected Bush administration. Honest about both progress and setbacks-occasionally belying official reports-Castañeda considers the larger issues ignored by the White House's more recent anti-immigration rhetoric and 2006's "hateful Secure Fence Act," which calls for 700 miles of fencing along the border. The structure may make Castañeda's argument difficult to reference (though an index helps, chapters lack titles or headed sections), but his authoritative primer contends convincingly that all the "barriers, checkpoints, and lighting" in the world will solve nothing.
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"A straightforward, useful guide to the two countries’ complex and sometimes surprising history of labor exchange." —Business Week
"Castañeda removes the shrillness from the immigration debate. His calming argument merits an audience, especially among the fence-builders in Congress." —Kirkus Reviews