Divided by a Common Border?

by Munroe Eagles

Munroe Eagles is Director of the Canadian Studies Academic Program and Professor of Political Science at the University at Buffalo.

On January 21st, 2015, the Republican-dominated House Committee on Homeland Security in Washington voted along party lines to pass the Secure our Borders First Act of 2015. The bill was introduced by Committee Chair Michael McCaul, a Republican Congressman who represents a district located just west of Houston. According to McCaul, the bill requires that the Secretary of Homeland Security “gain and maintain operational control of the borders of the United States.”

the Secure Our Borders First pocket cardThe “First” in the bill’s name suggests that secure borders should come before something else – in this case referring to President Obama’s executive action on immigration reform. As Rep. McCaul argued: “Our border must be dealt with through regular order and in a step-by-step approach – not through any type of comprehensive immigration reform. We must stop the bleeding at the border. The bill matches resources to needs, putting fencing where fencing is needed and technology where technology is needed. My constituents in my home district and my home state of Texas spoke loud and clear. They want the border secured.” Continue reading

Advertisements

Workshop Report | Security, Immigration, and the Cultures of the Canada-US Border

 

Workshop Audience

 

…nowhere is my natural anarchism more aroused than at national borders where patient and efficient public servants carry out their duties in matters on immigration and customs. I have never smuggled anything in my life. Why, then, do I feel an uneasy sense of guilt on approaching a customs barrier?

John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America (1962)

Niagara Falls. So good they built it twice, once in Upper New York State, once in Ontario. In many respects it sums the border region up: both cities share the same natural resource, not just a thundering source of light and power, but a tourist attraction to boot. And yet the Falls are apprehended so very differently on each side, just as each city, though united in their appreciation for kitsch[1], has fared palpably differently. It is also, of course, the iconic site of oh-so-many cultural events and representations, which range from the heroic (cue Superman II) to the downright mad (tightrope walkers and barrel riders galore). Continue reading