"In this text for policy makers and concerned citizens, Payan describes how the war on drugs, the war over the enforcement of immigration laws, and the war on terror have affected relations between Mexico and the U.S. and their shared border. Particular attention is paid to the conflict between the U.S. government's efforts to close the border and the desire of residents of local communities to keep it open."
Reference & Research Book News
"Payan focuses on US-Mexico border policy since 9/11. Before 9/11, the US and Mexico had presidents who knew each other and who had worked together when Bush was governor of Texas. Both Vicente Fox and George W. Bush knew the economic and human costs of delays at the border. They toyed with the idea of an open border, something along the lines of what the European community established when they integrated their economies. But after 9/11, open borders fell by the wayside. The US decided that national security demanded more control of the border to stop would-be terrorists, illegal drugs, and immigrants. Payan methodically picks apart this policy and points out the folly and wasted resources of such efforts. He concludes that US policies are creating hostility with its neighbor and hurting the economies of both countries. Perhaps most importantly, the efforts are futile. The US has not, and will not, stop the flow of drugs by making war on drugs. The author concludes that the war on drugs only aggravates the situation. This is an excellent analysis. Highly recommended. General readers, upper-division undergraduates through practitioners."
"Payan has made a compelling and timely contribution to the ongoing discussions on drugs, immigration, and national security."
Journal of American Studies
"Tony Payan's book is an excellent primer on the myriad policy issues facing the United States and Mexico as they grapple with the opportunity and tragedy of their common border. Payan's lucid prose illuminates past and present on a frontier that has evolved from a collection of unguarded desert outposts, to an urbanized battleground of cultural conflict." (H^D'ector Tobar, author of Translation Nation: Defining a New American Identity in the Spanish-Speaking United States