The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant by Jason De León

By Jason De León

In his gripping and provocative debut, anthropologist Jason De León sheds gentle on the most urgent political problems with our time—the human effects people immigration coverage. The Land of Open Graves finds the soreness and deaths that happen day-by-day within the Sonoran wasteland of Arizona as millions of undocumented migrants try to pass the border from Mexico into the United States.

Drawing at the 4 significant fields of anthropology, De León makes use of an leading edge blend of ethnography, archaeology, linguistics, and forensic technological know-how to supply a scathing critique of “Prevention via Deterrence,” the federal border enforcement coverage that encourages migrants to go in parts characterised by means of severe environmental stipulations and excessive hazard of dying. for 2 many years, this coverage has didn't deter border crossers whereas effectively turning the rugged terrain of southern Arizona right into a killing field.

In harrowing element, De León chronicles the trips of people that have made dozens of makes an attempt to move the border and uncovers the tales of the gadgets and our bodies left at the back of within the desert.

The Land of Open Graves will spark debate and controversy.

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Extra resources for The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail (California Series in Public Anthropology, Volume 36)

Sample text

The circuslike atmosphere created when dozens of people at a time jumped the bor- . prevention through deterrence 31 der fence while agents in green uniforms chased after them like Keystone Cops was ludicrous. A. around this borderwide phenomenon. These daily scenes exemplified the difficulties of trying to seal the border. Reyes’s mass deployment of agents in and around the El Paso port of entry was an effective public relations move that seemed to satisfy local residents. This “show of force”, however, didn’t stop illegal immigration.

Although this initial strategy in El Paso had neither been officially sanctioned nor fully evaluated by INS, it immediately garnered media and political attention and was soon adopted as a part of a new federal project. ’ The Border Patrol will achieve the goals of its strategy by bringing . 32 this hard land a decisive number of enforcement resources to bear in each major entry corridor. , the Sonoran Desert) are difficult to traverse on foot and hence can be effectively used by law enforcement.

You will see the golden sun creep behind the Baboquivari Mountains. The vanishing orb makes it look as if the distant peaks and valleys have been cut out of thick black construction paper. It’s the stenciled silhouette you see in old western films. For an hour or so, the backlit barren landscape glows as though it’s slowly being covered in liquid amber. The beauty of this Sonoran Desert sunset is overwhelming. It can convince you that there is goodness in nature. It will make you briefly forget how cruel and unforgiving this terrain can be for those caught in it during the height of summer.

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