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8 The Great Offensive Wall of Mexico: Border Blues

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explains that it was the trans-border treaty of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that became instrumental in changing the dynamics of migration between Mexico and the United States (U.S.), unleashing an uncontrollable north-bound flow of migrant workers. Signed in 1993 by Mexico, the U.S., and Canada and implemented in early 1994 NAFTA was intended to open the doors for free trade between the three countries, particularly related to import and export of agricultural products. Operation Blockade was initiated and launched by Silvestre Reyes, a Texan Border Patrol Chief who in 1993 doubled the number of border agents along a twenty-mile section of the boundary in an effort to curb the influx of "illegals" in the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez twin city area in Texas. Operation Gate Keeper militarized the San Diego-Tijuana border sector by employing a three-tiered deployment of Border Patrol agents in five border stations.

Keywords: Canada; Mexico; North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); Operation Blockade; Operation Gate Keeper; San Diego-Tijuana border sector; Texas; United States (U.S.)

10.1163/9789004260665_009
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