The Border That We Keep

Y estábamos pasando el río cuando nos fusilaron con los máuseres. Me devolví porque él me dijo: ‘Sácame de aquí, paisano, no me dejes.’

— Juan Rulfo, El llano en llamas

On March 30 of this year, the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) endorsed Donald Trump, effectively backing his bid for the presidency of the United States. NBPC president Brandon Judd heads the organization, which describes itself online as “the exclusive representative of approximately 18,000 Border Patrol Agents and support personnel assigned to the U.S. Border Patrol.” Judd himself published the NBPC’s pro-Trump communiqué, asserting that “if we do not secure our borders, American communities will continue to suffer at the hands of gangs, cartels and violent criminals preying on the innocent. The lives and security of the American people are at stake… There is no greater physical or economic threat to Americans today than our open border.”

In light of Judd’s predictable language, it is important to recall that the story of the Mexican-US border dates far back in time and has quite a history unto itself. The NBPC president’s decision to invoke gangs, cartels, and violent criminals, moreover, amounts to little more than a very lazy way of commandeering the polemics that currently inform border narratives. Judd’s language certainly reinforces the credibility of the racist whitewashing of border history that dominates the paradigms of millions of Americans today….

Read more