Harsha Walia is the author of two books about border politics No One Is Illegal and Border and Rule.
She argues that there is no “border crisis,” in the United States or anywhere else. Instead, there are the “actual crises” that drive mass migration – such as capitalism, war and the climate emergency – and “imagined crises” at political borders, which are used to justify further border securitization and violence plus what she calls “racist nationalism.”
"...Racial violence is connected to the idea of who belongs and who doesn’t. Whose humanity is questioned in a moment of crisis. Who is scapegoated in a moment of crisis...."
"...Borders maintain a massive system of global apartheid. They are preventing, on a scale we’ve never seen before, the free movement of people who are trying to search for a better life..."
"...We’re seeing the EU making trade and aid agreements it has with countries in the Sahel region of Africa and the Middle East contingent on migration control. They are relying on countries in the global south as the frontiers of border militarization. All of this is really a crisis of immobility. The whole world is increasingly becoming fortified..."
"...It’s not a coincidence that the vast number of people who are migrants and refugees in the world today are black and brown people from poor countries that have been made poor because of centuries of imperialism, of empire, of exploitation and deliberate underdevelopment. It’s those same fault lines of plunder around the world that are the fault lines of migration. More and more people are being forced out of their land because of trade agreements, mining extraction, deforestation, climate change..."
"...The border does not only serve to exclude immigrants and refugees, but also to create conditions of hyper exploitation, where some immigrants and refugees do enter, but in a situation of extreme precarity. If you’re undocumented, you will work for less than minimum wage. If you attempt to unionize, you will face the threat of deportation. You will not feel you can access public services, or in some cases you will be denied public services. Borders maintain racial citizenship and create a pool of hyper-exploitable cheapened labor. People who are never a full part of the community, always living in fear, constantly on guard..."
"...Capital wants cheapened labor and the state doesn’t want people with full citizenship rights..."
"...People are being killed by policies that are intended to kill. Literally, governments are hoping people will die, are deliberating creating conditions of death, in order to create deterrence..."
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