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Migra!: A History of the U.S. Border Patrol (American Crossroads) Paperback – May 3, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"If you had to choose one book as a starting place for an intelligent discussion about immigration issues, you would do well to begin with Migra! by UCLA assistant professor of history Kelly Lytle Hernandez. [It] is surprisingly complex and nuanced."--"Tucson Weekly"

"Migra! is undoubtedly a valuable book, especially as a storehouse of information and as an introduction to a new, international perspective on American immigration. Sections of it will undoubtedly become the foundations of research that will continue to broader our understanding many years into the future."--"American Book Review"

"A Useful resource for any scholar seeking to understand the complex dynamics of race, migration, and law in the twentieth century."--"Law & History Review"

"Hernandez offers well-documented accounts and analysis that bring considerable value to obtaining a resolution to the problem."--Geri Spieler"New York Journal Of Books" (04/29/2010)

"Migra! stands as a major contribution, successfully revising our understanding of border policing."--Eric Vaughn Meeks"Journal Of American History" (06/20/2011)

Hernandez offers well-documented accounts and analysis that bring considerable value to obtaining a resolution to the problem. --Geri Spieler"New York Journal Of Books" (04/29/2010)"

Migra! stands as a major contribution, successfully revising our understanding of border policing. --Eric Vaughn Meeks"Journal Of American History" (06/20/2011)"

From the Inside Flap

Migra! is the first and only substantive history of the U.S. Border Patrol. Hernandez breaks new ground in this deeply researched account of its formation and development.”—George Sanchez, author of Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture and Identity in Chicano Los Angeles, 1900-1945
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Product Details

  • Series: American Crossroads (Book 29)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (May 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520266412
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520266414
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #438,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is a very informative overview of the creation of the US border, with it's small and unorganized beginnings all the way through to the more modern concept that we understand as 'border patrolling'. The text is easy to read but filled with documentation and historical evidence. Lyttle does an amazing job at flushing out some of the economic, social, and global affairs that led to the focus of the US borders on the Mexican side, as well as the reactions and role of the Mexican Government. Without a doubt a worthwhile read that offers a much needed perspective on the history of immigration in the US.
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This book titles itself as a study of the US Border Patrol. It is that, but in a complex way. It studies the first 50 years of the USBP, but primarily examines the migration of Mexicans into the US and efforts to control it. Hernandez has written an interesting and compelling book about how the USBP originated as a fairly local organization that used a lot of violence to do its work. As it grew and transformed, it became more complex, changed tactics, and often had varying missions. This book also chronicles the changing and complex attitudes towards Mexican migrants in Texas and California. Many farmers wanted Mexicans for cheap labor, while most lower-income people opposed their impact on wages. The USBP fit into all of that, often at war with both migrants and farmers.

The book itself could have benefited from a better editor. A few areas were repetitive or poorly organized, but the reading itself is nonetheless interesting. This is not a casual read, certainly intended for an academic audience. But those who are highly interested in immigration and Border Patrol issues will find this a worthwhile read.
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I think that Migra! is one of the most through and interesting books discussing the policies around the U.S.-Mexican border. Not only does she discuss the U.S. border patrol, she discusses how the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico largely impacted the practices and policies of the U.S. It's both fascinating and well-written as well as delving into the complex interplay between policy and enforcement.
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A very fine history of the United States Border Patrol, warts and all, that offers a very excellent overview of the early days of this important law enforcement agency.
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I thought this was going to be a boring book, but the details and different view points on immigration and how mexicans were treated made this book very interesting!
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