The Battle for the Border: Notes on Autonomous Migration, Transnational Communities, and the State
Nestor Rodriguez redefines the battle for the border as more than a simple struggle to stem the tide of undocumented migration. The late 20th century has inaugurated a new age of capitalist development; just as capital has developed new resources for its functioning, many working-class communities in peripheral regions of the world economy have, in effect, broadened their base for survival across nation- state boundaries, through autonomous undocumented migration. This process has led to the creation of transnational communities that recompose the contours of class structures and class relations through self-activity and the use of capital’s new communications and transportation technologies. After tracing the state’s strategies against autonomous migration, Rodriguez questions the need for the continuing existence of rigid nation-state boundaries. He concludes that the battle for the border will become a war for the border, as new institutional actors wear down nation-state boundaries. Undoubtedly, migrants, both legal and undocumented, will continue to play a mayor role in this development, since the purpose of the battle for the border is not to end labor migration but to terminate its autonomous origin.
immigrant labor; immigration and emigration; immigrants, illegal; borders and border disputes; nation-state; economy, global; autonomy, political
Citation: Social Justice Vol. 23, No. 3 (1996): 21-37