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We Built the Wall: How the US Keeps Out Asylum Seekers from Mexico, Central America and Beyond
by Eileen Truax
translated by Diane Stockwell
A Mexican-American lawyer exposes corruption in the US asylum procedure and despotism in the Mexican government
From a storefront law office in the US border city of El Paso, Texas, one man set out to tear down the great wall of indifference raised between the US and Mexico. Carlos Spector has filed hundreds of political asylum cases on behalf of human rights defenders, journalists, and political dissidents. Though his legal activism has only inched the process forward—98 percent of refugees from Mexico are still denied asylum—his myriad legal cases and the resultant media fallout has increasingly put US immigration policy, the corrupt state of Mexico, and the political basis of immigration, asylum, and deportation decisions on the spot.
We Built the Wall is an immersive, engrossing look at the new front in the immigration wars. It follows the gripping stories of people like Saúl Reyes, forced to flee his home after a drug cartel murdered several members of his family, and Delmy Calderón, a forty-two-year-old woman leading an eight-woman hunger strike in an El Paso detention center. Truax tracks the heart-wrenching trials of refugees like Yamil, the husband and father who chose a prison cell over deportation to Mexico, and Rocío Hernández, a nineteen-year-old who spent nearly her entire life in Texas and is now forced to live in a city where narcotraffickers operate with absolute impunity.
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