In this Book

NYU Press
summary

Mexico and the United States exist in a symbiotic relationship: Mexico frequently provides the 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 American dream: the possibility of a better livelihood through hard work. To supply each other’s demands, Americans and Mexicans have to cross their shared border from both sides. Despite this relationship, U.S. immigration reform debates tend to be security-focused and center on the idea of menacing Mexicans heading north to steal abundant American resources. Further, Congress tends to approach reform unilaterally, without engaging with Mexico or other feeder countries, and, disturbingly, without acknowledging problematic southern crossings that Americans routinely make into Mexico.

 

In Run for the Border, Steven W. Bender offers a framework for a more comprehensive border policy through a historical analysis of border crossings, both Mexico to U.S. and U.S. to Mexico. In contrast to recent reform proposals, this book urges reform as the product of negotiation and implementation by cross-border accord; reform that honors the shared economic and cultural legacy of the U.S. and Mexico. Covering everything from the history of Anglo crossings into Mexico to escape law authorities, to vice tourism and retirement in Mexico, to today’s focus on Mexican border-crossing immigrants and drug traffickers, Bender takes lessons from the past 150 years to argue for more explicit and compassionate cross-border cooperation.

 

Steeped in several disciplines, Run for the Border is a blend of historical, cultural, and legal perspectives, as well as those from literature and cinema, that reflect Bender’s cultural background and legal expertise.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. p. ix
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-8
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  1. PART I. Running for the Border to Escape Justice
  2. p. 9
  1. 1 El Fugitivo
  2. pp. 11-28
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  1. PART II. Economic Motivations for Southbound Border Runs
  2. p. 29
  1. 2 Gringos in Paradise
  2. pp. 31-39
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  1. 3 A Giant Sucking Sound
  2. pp. 40-54
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  1. PART III. Illicit Motivations for Southbound Border Runs
  2. p. 55
  1. 4 Margaritaville: The Lure of Alcohol
  2. pp. 57-69
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  1. 5 Losin’ It: Prostitution and the Child Sex Trade
  2. pp. 70-78
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  1. 6 Going Southbound: Mexican Divorces and Medical Border Runs
  2. pp. 79-88
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  1. PART IV. Economic Motivations for Northbound Border Runs
  2. p. 89
  1. 7 Rum-Running for the Border
  2. pp. 91-94
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  1. 8 Acapulco Gold
  2. pp. 95-113
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  1. 9 Coming to America
  2. pp. 114-138
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  1. PART V. A Framework for Comprehensive Border Reform
  2. p. 139
  1. 10 Lessons from 150 Years of Border Crossings
  2. pp. 141-157
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  1. 11 Good Neighbor Immigration Policy
  2. pp. 158-162
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  1. 12 Reefer Madness
  2. pp. 163-171
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  1. 13 A Framework for Southbound Crossings
  2. pp. 172-176
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  1. 14 Laws the Border Leaves Behind
  2. pp. 177-182
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  1. Conclusion
  2. pp. 183-184
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 185-220
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 221-223
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  1. About the Author
  2. p. 224
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