In This Review

Border Games: Policing the U.S.-Mexico Divide
Border Games: Policing the U.S.-Mexico Divide
By Peter Andreas
Cornell University Press, 2000, 192 pp.

The U.S.-Mexico border today is the most heavily traveled and one of the most heavily fortified land-crossings in the world. Vicente Fox has already set the cat among the pigeons with his call for an open border between the two countries. Just how provocative-and how politically impossible to implement-this suggestion is becomes immediately apparent in Andreas' remarkably timely book. Andreas argues that borders are not becoming irrelevant in the age of globalization. In fact, he compares the U.S.-Mexico frontier to the European Union's ever-tightening borders. In the American case, the borderless economy created by the North American Free Trade Agreement coexists with a barricaded confrontation point where law enforcement and law evasion face off with escalating intensity. As a result, the border-control operation has been transformed from a low-maintenance and politically marginal activity into an intensive, high-profile campaign against drugs and migrant labor-both of which Andreas sees as the inevitable, market-driven, and clandestine results of the growing economic relationship.