Books on Borders | Collection Development

The migrant situation at the United States-Mexico border is complicated, fluctuating, and has its origins in many areas including history, politics, and economics. This list aims to provide guidance to librarians and general readers with resources to contextualize current events.  For more resources on immigration, see The Long Journey.


Chacón, Justin Akers & Davis, Mike. No One Is Illegal: Fighting Racism and State Violence on the U.S.-Mexico Border. Haymarket. 2018. 448p. pap. ISBN 9781608468492. $19.95. Chacón and Davis examine the history of the immigration rights movement from a labor activism perspective. The book opens with an exploration of racist violence against migrant laborers during the settlement of California. The authors also chronicle economic relations between the U.S. and Mexico and the impact on migrant workers and immigration policy. The 2018 updated edition contains a new introduction that addresses current events. Judis, John B. The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics. Columbia Global Reports. 2016. 184p. ISBN 9780997126440. $12.99; ebk. IBSN 9780997126457. Current immigration policy has been shaped by populist politics. Judis tracks the history of populist movements in both the United States and Europe, arguing that populism emerged in the United States in the 1800s and has continued to evolve as both a left- and right-wing ideology through the present day. Additionally, populist movements have appeared throughout Europe, including the United Kingdom, Austria, France, and the Netherlands. Lew-Williams, Beth. The Chinese Must Go: Violence, Exclusion, and the Making of the Alien in America. Harvard. 2018. 360p. ISBN 9780674976016. $39.95; ebk. IBSN 9780674919921. Exclusion of a migrant group based on their country of origin is not new policy in the United States. Lew-Williams chronicles escalating tensions and violence against Chinese immigrants in the 1850s that culminated in the Chinese Exclusion Act, which lasted until from 1882 to 1943. Despite being an academic text, the book is readable by a general audience. Reeves, Richard. Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Internment in World War II. Holt. 2015. 368p. ISBN 9780805094084. $32; ebk. ISBN 9780805094084. After the bombing at Pearl Harbor, the United States detained Japanese families in internment camps. In contrast to Jan Jarboe Russell’s The Train to Crystal City, Reeves focuses his account specifically on Japanese internment. He describes the racism and perceived justification for internment, and details daily life in the camps. (LJ 2/15/15) Russell, Jan Jarboe. The Train to Crystal City: FDR's Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America's Only Family Internment Camp During World War II. Scribner. 2015. 416p. ISBN 9781451693669. $30; ebk. IBSN 9781451693683. Also during World War II, the United States government rounded up German, Italian, and Japanese immigrants, spouses, and American-born children and sent them to a family internment camp in Crystal City, TX. President Roosevelt deported some of the detainees and their families as part of a prisoner exchange program with Germany and Japan. Here, Russell interviewed former detainees about their experiences in the camp and after deportation. (LJ 1/15) Selee, Andrew. Vanishing Frontiers: The Forces Driving Mexico and the United States Together. PublicAffairs. 2018. 336p. ISBN 9781610398596. $28; ebk. IBSN 9781610399029. Selee explores the ways that America and Mexico have become intertwined economically and culturally. Although Mexican migration to the United States has decreased, Mexican companies are operating in the United States and influencing American consumers. Selee argues that Mexican and American culture are interconnected, and speculates on the future relationship between the two countries. Carlisle Indian Industrial School: Indigenous Histories, Memories, and Reclamations. ed. by Jacqueline Fear-Segal & Susan D. Rose. Univ. of Nebraska. 2018. 414p. pap. ISBN 9781496207692. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780803295070. From 1879 to 1918, the United States government removed Native children from their families and forced them to attend the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, where they were compelled to assimilate into “white” culture. In 2012, a symposium acknowledged students who attended the school, including those who died while attending and were unable to be buried according to their tribal custom. This book collates the proceedings of the symposium and includes prayer, poetry, and remembrances.

Borders, Walls, and Immigration Policy

Arce, Alberto. Blood Barrios: Dispatches from the World's Deadliest Streets. Zed. 2018. 160p. pap. ISBN 9781786990495. $15.95 Journalist Arce reported from Tegucigalpa, Honduras for the Associated Press. Here, he writes about the challenges of living and reporting in a country that has a high murder rate and is run by a corrupt government. His perspective is that of a foreigner and he struggles to maintain his own sense of normalcy after seeing bodies in the street day after day. Chomsky, Aviva. Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal. Beacon. 2014. 256p. pap. ISBN 9780807001677. $16; ebk. ISBN 9780807001684. Chomsky presents a critique of the United States immigration system. She argues that the concept of illegality in immigration is fairly recent, and that much of the United States’ economy depends on the low-wage labor that immigrants provide. Stories of undocumented immigrants are told throughout to accent Chomsky’s points. Di Cintio, Marcello. Walls: Travels Along the Barricades. Soft Skull Pr. 2013. 288p. ISBN 9781593765248. $16.95; ebk. ISBN 9781593765651. Before Donald Trump called for an expansion of the border wall between Mexico and the U.S., Di Cintio travelled to eight regions separated by walls, including the U.S.-Mexico border. He recounts the history and political context of each wall as well as the effects the wall has on those who live near it. Jones, Reece. Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right To Move. Verso. 2017. 224p. pap. ISBN 9781784784744. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781784784720. Presented as a rebuttal to conventional government policy regarding borders, Jones asks if borders are truly a natural phenomenon. He argues that the presence of a border produces violence by creating a barrier to economic and personal mobility. In his view, rich countries build borders to protect their assets and he reminds readers that historical borders have been more porous than the present. The 2017 paperback edition is updated to include Jones’ thoughts on Brexit and the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Martinez, Óscar. A History of Violence: Living and Dying in Central America. Verso. 2016. 288p. ISBN 9781784781682. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781784781699. Many of the migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border are seeking asylum from murder and violence in their home countries. Salvadorian journalist Martinez interviews officials, gang members, civilians and others in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador to learn what life is like in what has been called the most violent region in the world. (LJ 1/16) Tinti, Peter & Tuesday Reitano. Migrant, Refugee, Smuggler, Savior. Oxford. 2017. 288p. ISBN 9780190668594. $29.95; ebk. IBSN 9780190668617. The authors address human smuggling services that fuel the European migrant crisis. They look at the reasons for demand for smugglers, the relationships between migrant and smuggler, and the operations of the smuggling networks. Lessons learned from this research may also shed light on human smuggling from Central America to the United States. The Shadow of the Wall: Violence and Migration on the U.S.-Mexico Border. ed. by Jeremy Slack, Daniel E. Martinez, & Scott Whiteford. Univ. of Arizona. 2018. 280p. pap. ISBN 9780816535590. $35; ebk. IBSN 9780816538409. This edited volume presents the results of the Migrant Border Crossing Study in order to apply evidence to the immigration debate. Topics covered include family separation, coyotes, migrant kidnapping, and border militarization. Although intended for an academic audience, the title will be useful for readers seeking context and statistics.

Migrants, Families, and Communities

Corchado, Alfredo. Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries, and the Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration. Bloomsbury. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9781632865540. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781632865564. In 1987, Corchado met three men of Mexican heritage, who would become good friends. Though the four led very different lives, they all struggled to reconcile their identities as Mexican and American. Corchado also discusses relations between Mexico and the United States. (LJ 6/1/18) Garcia, J. Malcolm. Without a Country: The Untold Story of America's Deported Veterans. Hot Books. 2017. 248p. ISBN 9781510722439. $22.99; ebk. ISBN 9781510722446. Garcia interviews U.S. military veterans who have been deported to Mexico after committing crime. The author reflects on the vulnerability of non-citizens as they are allowed to enlist in the military and participate in combat. Gjelten, Tom. A Nation of Nations: A Great American Immigration Story. S. & S. 2015. 405p. pap. ISBN 9781476743868. $17; ebk. IBSN 9781476743875. In 1965, the United States’ immigration system removed quotas that favored European ancestry and immigrants from more diverse backgrounds immigrated into the country. Gjelten looks at the experiences of five families from Bolivia, Korea and Libya now living in Fairfax County, VA to show the changes that the 1965 act had on the community and its’ members. (LJ 9/1/15) Guerrero, Diane. In the Country We Love: My Family Divided. Holt. 2017. 272p. ISBN 9781627795272. $26; ebk. 9781627795289. Guerrero, an actress on Orange is the New Black, describes her childhood as an American daughter of undocumented Colombian immigrants. At age 14, she came home from school to find that her parents had been deported. She details the profound affect of growing up without her family. Noorani, Ali. There Goes the Neighborhood: How Communities Overcome Prejudice and Meet the Challenge of American Immigration. Prometheus. 2017. 319p. ISBN 9781633883079. $25; ebk. IBSN 9781633883086. Noorani, the director of the National Immigration Forum, traveled around the U.S. to speak to community members about immigration. He interviews liberals and conservatives, and discovers that views on immigration can shift over time. Noorani suggests that honest dialogue from can yield results on a complicated issue. Orduña, Jose. The Weight of Shadows: A Memoir of Immigration & Displacement. Beacon. 2016. 240p. pap. ISBN 9780807074015. $17.95; ebk. ISBN 9780807074022. After becoming an American citizen in 2011, Orduña reevaluates the immigration policies of his new country by analyzing his own experiences navigating the United States’ immigration system to obtain his citizenship. Along the way, he critiques common media portrayals of undocumented persons. (LJ 2/1/16) Ramos, Jorge. Stranger: The Challenges of a Latino Immigrant in the Trump Era. Vintage. 2018. 224p. pap. ISBN 9780525563792. $15; ebk. ISBN 9780525563808. Ramos reflects on the anti-immigrant sentiment that he has experienced during his time living in U.S. as a journalist and anchor for Univision. Although ostensibly a response to Trump’s presidency, Ramos is also critical of Obama’s immigration policies. Ramos offers commentary on many current policy proposals, including the border wall, deportations, and DREAMers. (LJ 3/1/18) Rebekah Kati is the Institutional Repository Librarian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a frequent reviewer for Library Journal.

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Hello! Thanks for article.

Posted : Jul 12, 2018 06:47




Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones


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