Mexico andthe United States exist in a symbiotic relationship: Mexico frequently providesthe United States with cheap labor, illegal goods, and, for criminal offenders,a refuge from the law. In turn, the U.S. offers Mexican laborers the Americandream: the possibility of a better livelihood through hard work. To supply eachother?s demands, Americans and Mexicans have to cross their shared border fromboth sides. Despite this relationship, U.S. immigration reform debates tend tobe security-focused and center on the idea of menacingMexicans heading north to steal abundant American resources. Further, Congresstends to approach reform unilaterally, without engaging with Mexico or otherfeeder countries, and, disturbingly, without acknowledging problematic southerncrossings that Americans routinely make into Mexico.
In Run for the Border, Steven W. Benderoffers a framework for a more comprehensive border policy through a historicalanalysis of border crossings, both Mexico to U.S. and U.S. to Mexico. In contrastto recent reform proposals, this book urges reform as the product ofnegotiation and implementation by cross-border accord; reform that honors theshared economic and cultural legacy of the U.S. and Mexico. Covering everythingfrom the history of Anglo crossings into Mexico to escape law authorities, tovice tourism and retirement in Mexico, to today?s focus on Mexicanborder-crossing immigrants and drug traffickers, Bender takes lessons from thepast 150 years to argue for more explicit and compassionate cross-bordercooperation.
Steeped inseveral disciplines, Run for the Borderis a blend of historical, cultural, and legal perspectives, as well as thosefrom literature and cinema, that reflect Bender?s cultural background and legalexpertise.