Douglas Massey: The Invention of the U.S.-Mexico Border

I was honoured to speak with Douglas Massey, Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University. Massey’s specialty is the U.S.-Mexico border, and back in 1982 he started the Mexican Migration Project, which tracks data on migration between the two countries.

This is a fascinating and wide-ranging conversation, starting in the mid 19th century and right up to the present day. We cover everything from the foundation of the border as a means of colonizing Texas (as well as to spread and preserve the institution of slavery), to the shift towards a criminalization of border crossing along with the rapidly expanding (and shockingly ineffectual) U.S. Border Patrol, to Massey’s own struggles getting leaders to listen to both reason and conscience instead of political expediency.

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To see some of the data cited in this interview:

As always, thanks for listening!

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