Chapter 7 The Costs of a Wall

The Impact of Pseudo-Security Policies on Communities, Wildlife, and Ecosystems on the US-Mexico Border

In: Like an Animal: Critical Animal Studies Approaches to Borders, Displacement, and Othering
Steven Best
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Steven Best’s essay examines how a flawed security model and immigration policies in the US, from Clinton to Trump, exacerbated the “migrant crisis” in the US and has catastrophic effects on numerous human communities, nonhuman animals and biodiversity, and the environment. Contextualizing Trump’s racist and xenophobic policies within this history and the rise of far-right ideologies and movements in the US, it analyzes the aggressive building of barriers along the US-Mexico boundary in terms of its real effects and symbolic status. The essay analyzes the emergence of a new “migrant-detention-industrial complex” and interprets the building of the border wall as a new front in the war on wildlife.

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