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Operation Walls And Mirrors Essay

2833 words - 12 pages

   Joseph Nevins, a professor of Geography at Vassar College. As a scholar,  he has focused on territorial boundaries as well as the social constructs that follow with a focus on the boundary of Mexico and the United States. His book, Operation Gatekeeper and Beyond: The War on “Illegals” and the Remaking of the U.S.-Mexico Boundary clearly outlines the complex social structure surrounding the border and how that social structure is  affected by a number of other variables such as politics, economics, and crime to name a few. He offers a unique view point on a matter typically reserved for political scientists or historians, and this allows for his argument to be refreshing and insightful.
    David Gutierrez is a Professor of History at the University of California, San Diego. At UCSD, Professor Gutierrez specializes in Chicano history and immigration history as well as politics in the United States over the course of the 20th century. His book, Walls and Mirrors: Mexican Americans, Mexican Immigrants, and the Politics of Ethnicity are similar to  book in that it is certainly refreshing, but it is written from the viewpoint of a historian, so it offers a more historical background of the border with less of a focus on the social constructs and more of a focus on the history of border changes that occurred over time through the lens of social and political events.   
    Each novel covers virtually the same topic but with differing viewpoints in the same way that two people can witness a car crash from different vantage points but ultimately end up with the same breakdown of events leading up to the crash. The comparison of the two books can offer a deeper understanding of the border as a whole and certainly a better rounded viewpoint of the Mexican-American border. Pivotal portions of information are provided by both the two books and further examined, assure a better understanding and better insight to what both men have to say. The important concepts are as follows: resources and status of America’s racial minorities, the concept of the third boarder, theories of minority groups in politics, Americans two dilemmas, political ideology, and the internal colonialism framework. These are all factors that will be discussed in the controversy circulating around the boundaries as well as the social constructs that follow the focus of the boundary of Mexico and the United States.

Nevins’ offers an argument based on the creation of the “illegal alien” and how that became the central focus of immigration issues as a whole. His argument constantly relates back to American policy and how that changed the structure of the border. His book title should indicate of just how policy driven his argument is as the title is the name of a law signed by the Clinton administration in 1994 that allocated funds from the National Government to state Border Patrols specifically aimed at the border in California. Gutierrez on the other hand, focuses on the...

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