Reece Jones is a Professor of Geography and Environment at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. His latest book, NOBODY IS PROTECTED: HOW THE BORDER PATROL BECAME THE MOST DANGEROUS POLICE FORCE IN THE UNITED STATES, is published by Counterpoint Press.
He is the editor-in-chief of the journal, Geopolitics, and co-editor of the Routledge Geopolitics Book Series with Klaus Dodds. He is best know for his work on border walls, the militarization of borders, and the rise in migrant deaths. His earlier books include Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move ; Open Borders: In Defense of Free Movement; and Placing the Border in Everyday Life . Among his numerous awards is a Guggenheim Fellowship.
In NOBODY IS PROTECTED: HOW THE BORDER PATROL BECAME THE MOST DANGEROUS POLICE FORCE IN THE UNITED STATES, he traces the history of the Border Patrol, from its creation, quietly tucked into The Labor Appropriation Act of 1924. He writes “Its sole mission was to enforce the new eugenics-derived rules about who could enter the United States.” For most of its existence it was a small, underfunded agency, a mere 1,500 agents in the 1970s, until the 21st century, when it has become “a modern, sophisticated paramilitary force of over19,000 agents that asserts the legal right to sweep people off the streets of an American city without a warrant or even probable cause that a crime was committed.” Citizens and noncitizen alike. As Justice Thurgood Marshall noted, NOBODY IS PROTECTED. We spoke with Reece Jones on September 20, 2022.
We end the program with the poem with which Amanda Gorman opened the 2022 United Nations General Assembly on September 19, 2022.
Articles pertinent to this interview:
Arrests at Southwestern Border Exceed 2 Million in a Year for the First Time https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/19/us/politics/us-border-arrests.html
‘The numbers kept going’: the forensic office identifying human remains at the border https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/19/arizona-migrants-remains-border-forensics
The Border Patrol Invited the Press to Watch It Blow Up a National Monument https://theintercept.com/2020/02/27/border-wall-construction-organ-pipe-explosion/
“This Is America Motherfucker”: Witnesses Describe Border Patrol Killing of Mexican Migrant https://theintercept.com/2022/05/12/border-patrol-migrant-killing-coverup/
Border Patrol Agents Are Trashing Sikh Asylum-Seekers’ Turbans https://theintercept.com/2022/08/02/sikh-turban-border-patrol/
A Pastor’s Legal Fight Against CBP Exposes a Reckless Surveillance Operation https://theintercept.com/2022/03/06/cbp-border-surveillance-migrant-caravan/
U.S. poet Amanda Gorman opens 2022 U.N. General Assembly week https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nf3xEgVsgJo