Cover image for The dangerous divide : peril and promise on the US-Mexico border
The dangerous divide : peril and promise on the US-Mexico border
Eichstaedt, Peter H., 1947-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chicago, Illinois : Lawrence Hill Books, [2014]
Physical Description:
244 pages, 16 pages of unnumbered plates : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library JV6483 .E43 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Audubon Library JV6483 .E43 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Crane Branch Library JV6483 .E43 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Kenmore Library JV6483 .E43 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Niagara Branch Library JV6483 .E43 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Orchard Park Library JV6483 .E43 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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How do we balance border security and America's need for a vital workforce while continuing to provide access to the American dream? Since the attacks of 9/11, the United States has steadily ramped up security along the U.S.-Mexico border, transforming America's legendary Southwest into a frontier of fear. Veteran journalist Peter Eichstaedt roams this fabled region from Tucson, Arizona, to El Paso, Texas, meeting with migrants, border security advocates, and communities ravaged by cross-border crime. He rides with the border patrol and reveals the tragic situation that has evolved along the border. Eichstaedt finds that despite tens of thousands of border agents and the expenditure of billions of dollars, an estimated one million Mexicans and Central Americans continue to cross the border each year. These migrants fill jobs that have become the underpinnings of the U.S. economy. Rather than building more and better barricades, Eichstaedt argues that the United States must reform its immigration and drug laws and acknowledge that costly, counterproductive, and antiquated policies have created deadly circumstances on both sides of the border. Recognizing the truth of America's long and tortured relations with Mexico must be followed by legitimizing the contributions made by migrants to the American way of life.

Author Notes

Peter Eichstaedt is a veteran journalist who has reported from locations worldwide, including Afghanistan, Albania, Somalia, the Sudans, Uganda, Kenya, eastern DR Congo, eastern Europe, and the Caucasus.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Journalist Eichstaedt (Above the Din of War) heads to the southern borderlands to explore the ties binding Mexico and the United States and the barriers keeping them apart. By talking with ranchers, immigrants, border agents, and others on both sides of the line, he delves into the complicated issues of immigration and enforcement, made more volatile by the maelstrom of drug violence engulfing much of northern Mexico. He finds "a deplorable lack of interaction, unfortunately fueled by fear and ignorance." This distrust came to a head in the fight over Arizona's SB 1070, which dramatically expanded local police forces' mandate to detain undocumented individuals. Eichstaedt reports coming across a young man near death in the Arizona desert, giving him food and water, and driving him to the highway to be picked up by the border patrol-actions now illegal in the state. The author's vignettes of his interactions with a diverse cast of characters are insightful and engrossing, yet despite his fieldwork on the border and over 20 years living in New Mexico, he seems to have never mastered Spanish, and the frequent misuse and misspelling of Spanish words, phrases, and names distracts from an otherwise powerful book. 40 color photos. Agent: Geri Thoma, Markson Thoma Literary Agency. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Mapsp. ix
Prologuep. 1
Part I The Migrants
1 Desert Solitairep. 9
2 A Thousand Storiesp. 25
Part II The Business of Fear
3 The Frontier of Fearp. 53
4 Migrants or Terrorists?p. 69
5 Overwhelming Oddsp. 79
Part III Guns, Money, and Resentment
6 Guns Go Southp. 95
7 Good-Bye, Columbusp. 111
8 The Ghost at Pancho Villap. 127
Part IV The Enforcers
9 Guardians of the Borderp. 145
10 The Port at Nogalesp. 173
11 And Were the Bad Guys?p. 189
Part V Brewing a Solution
12 To Leave Our Land Is to Sufferp. 205
Epilogue: Borderline Realitiesp. 223
Indexp. 233

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