by Todd Miller
City Lights Books
By the time Todd Miller spots him, Juan Carlos has been wandering alone in a remote border region for days. Parched, hungry and disoriented, he approaches and asks for a ride. Miller's instinct is to oblige, but he hesitates: Furthering an unauthorized person's entrance into the U.S. is a federal crime.
Todd Miller has been reporting from international border zones for over twenty-five years. In Build Bridges, Not Walls, he invites readers to join him on a journey that begins with the most basic of questions: What happens to our collective humanity when the impulse to help one another is criminalized?
A series of encounters--with climate refugees, members of indigenous communities, border authorities, modern-day abolitionists, scholars, visionaries, and the shape-shifting imagination of his four-year-old son--provoke a series of reflections on the ways in which nation-states create the problems that drive immigration, and how the abolition of borders could make the world a more sustainable, habitable place for all.
Is it possible to imagine a borderless world? How could it emerge, and how might it be better equipped to solve the global emergencies that threaten our collective survival? Build Bridges, Not Walls is an inspiring, impassioned call to envision--and work toward--a bold new reality.
"All of Todd Miller's work is essential reading, but Build Bridges, Not Walls is his most compelling, insightful book yet. Miller's storytelling is woven together with his rigorous research on the inner workings of border control systems and how they worsen the concentration of global wealth and the suffering caused by climate change. Build Bridges, Not Walls makes a convincing argument for border abolition that builds on the police and prison abolition movement's insights, helping us see that the plans to make border enforcement more fair are shams, and that imagining and creating a world without borders is entirely possible."—Dean Spade, author of Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crises (And the Next)
"The stories of the humble people of the earth Miller documents ask us to also tear down the walls in our hearts and in our heads. What proliferates in the absence of these walls and in spite of them, Miller writes, is the natural state of things centered on kindness and compassion."--Nick Estes, author of Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance
"Miller calls us to see how borders subject millions of people to violence, dehumanization, and early death. More importantly, he highlights the urgent necessity to abolish not only borders, but the nation-state itself."--A. Naomi Paik, author of Bans, Walls Raids, Sanctuary: Understanding U.S. Immigration for the Twenty-First Century and Rightlessness: Testimony and Redress in U.S. Prison Camps Since World War II
About the Author:
Todd Miller has researched and written about border issues for more than fifteen years, the last eight as an independent journalist and writer. He resides in Tucson, Arizona, but also has spent many years living and working in Oaxaca, Mexico. His work has appeared in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, TomDispatch, The Nation, In These Times, Guernica, Al Jazeera English, among other places. Miller has authored three books: Empire of Borders: The Expansion of the U.S. Border Around the World (Verso, 2019), Storming the Wall: Climate Change, Migration, and Homeland Security (City Lights, 2017), which won the 2018 Izzy Award for Excellence in Investigative Journalism, and Border Patrol Nation: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Homeland Security (City Lights, 2014). He's a contributing editor on border and immigration issues for NACLA Report on the Americas and its column "Border Wars."