Monday, September 16, 2019
In More Than A Wall: Corporate Profiteering and the Militarization of US Borders, Todd Miller examines the role of the world’s largest arms (as well as a number of other security and IT) firms in shaping and profiting from the militarization of US borders. Through their campaign contributions, lobbying, constant engagement with government officials, and the revolving door between industry and government, these border security corporations and their government allies have formed powerful border–industrial complex that is a major impediment to a humane response to migration.
US President Donald Trump’s obsession with ‘building a wall’ on the US- Mexico border has both distorted and obscured public debate on border control. This is not just because there is already a physical wall – 650 miles of it – but because Trump’s theatrics and the Democrats’ opposition to his plans have given the impression that the Trump administration is forging a new direction on border control. A closer look at border policy over the last decades, however, shows that Trump is ratcheting up – and ultimately consolidating – a long-standing US approach to border control.
This report looks at the history of US border control and the strong political consensus – both Republican and Democrat – in support of border militarization that long pre-dates the Trump administration. It shows how this political consensus has been forged to a significant degree by the world’s largest arms (as well as a number of other security and IT) corporations that have made massive profits from the exponential growth of government budgets for border control. Through their campaign contributions, lobbying, constant engagement with government officials, and the revolving door between industry and government, these security corporations and their government allies have formed a powerful border–industrial complex. The evidence shows that it is these corporations – and their role in border infrastructure and policies – that have led to a predominantly militarized response to migration and thereby become the single biggest impediment to a humane response to migration.
Miller is also author of the books Border Patrol Nation and Storming the Wall: Climate Change, Migration, and Homeland Security.