The Border Patrol State
In “The Border Patrol State” Leslie Silko makes accusations of the border patrol’s mistreatment of American citizens of Mexican decent, making the argument with almost evidence. Silko, a critically acclaimed poet, sees the border patrol as a governmental assembly addicted to interrogation, torture, and the murder of those they see fit.
Leslie Silko certainly makes accusations that some could argue far exceed the boundaries of journalism integrity, and fail to deliver with evidence to back them up.
The author of this piece is a Mexican-American living in the Southwest United States.
The author is using personal experience to convey a problem to his or her audience. The audience of this piece is quite broad. First and foremost, Mexican-Americans just like the author. People who can relate to what the author has to say, maybe someone who has experienced something similar. The author also seems to be seeking out an audience of white Americans who find themselves unaware of the problem at our borders. The author even offers up a warning to white America when she notes, “White people traveling with brown people, however, can expect to be stopped on suspicion they work with the sanctuary movement”(125). The purpose of this writing is to pull out a problem that is hidden within or society, and let people see it for what it is and isn’t.
This topic is a problem, but it may not be all that it is said to be. Throughout this piece the author shows us what is wrong with system of keeping illegals out of our country. She opens talking of her cousin Bill Pratt, who she claims rode freely from New Mexico to Arizona without disturbances throughout the early 1900’s. From a story of freedom of the past, she moves quickly to the lockdown conditions and harsh treatment of that same area her cousin once rode freely. She tells a story of her and her companion Gus being treated as illegal immigrants although they present Arizona identification.
They are pushed around and even have the dog unleashed on them. She goes onto compare the treatment of Mexican-Americans by the United States Border Patrol to, “Argentina’s “dirty war” in the late 1970’s”(124). From here it is onto how well the border patrol discriminates, and how they will do their best to find any reason to bring the brown man down. Silko explains the way in which people are detained. She actually reaches out to the reader and tells him or her personally how they could identify themselves being detained. She makes claims throughout this explanation of how the detainee is treated unjustly, like when she states, “They make it clear that if you force them to obtain a search warrant for the car, they will make you submit to a strip search as well”(125). Silko starts to bring some half-way evidence into the picture by talking about the more high profile cases of the abuse of the border patrol’s power. She gives us more facts as we reach the middle of the reading. Eighty...