It is a bizarre, perhaps even sinister fact of public education in the United States that most Americans reach adulthood knowing very little about the history of the United States' relationship with Mexico. The assumption at the heart of Steven Bender's new book Run for the Border is that if more Americans understood the longstanding interconnectedness of these two neighbors, the historic fluidity of the border between them, and the power dynamics of the relationship over time, they might take a different view of undocumented migrants today. He opens the book by claiming that if we had a better sense of history, Mexican migrants would be "celebrated for their positive contribution to U.S. labor markets and our economic well-being and for their renewal of the American dream that hard labor brings the hope of prosperity" (p.2). As immigration law professor Bill Ong Hing has said, rather than deporting illegal immigrants, we should give them a parade! (Hing 2006, p.8).
Rebecca Hamlin, political science, reviews Steven Bender's "Run for the Border: Vice and Virtue in U.S.-Mexico Border Crossings"
Law and Politics Book Review
Kirksville, Mo., United States
December 17, 2012
Person Mentioned:Grinnell College
Rebecca Hamlin, political science
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