Running the Border Gauntlet
The Mexican Migrant Controversy
by Laurence Armand French
May 2010, 176pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-38212-3
$64, £48, 54€, A92
eBook Available: 978-0-313-38213-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

In 2008, the United States allocated $3.5 billion for border patrol and $1 billion for the construction of a 700-mile fence between the United States and Mexico. The fence is unfinished, and the border remains a locus of anxiety—and often deadly struggle—as the drug war rages and jobs in both nations continue to disappear.

This concise and cogent history of the Mexico/U.S. border conflict analyzes the acts that led to the current U.S. policy and its effects on immigration.

Although immigration and the U.S./Mexico border are perennial election issues, few Americans are aware of the long history of racial, political, religious, and class conflict that have resulted in America’s contentious immigration policies. Running the Border Gauntlet traces this complex history, examining events that eventually led to the forceful annexation of the majority of Mexico under the pretense of Manifest Destiny and that contribute to tensions between the two nations today.

The story begins with religious discord between Protestants and Catholics and continues through the development of an economy based on slave labor, the annexation of Texas, the Mexican Revolution, the Bracero Program, NAFTA, and the “war on drugs.” Among other revelations, the book challenges the long-held myths of the Texas revolution and the heroic role of the Texas Rangers and documents a continuing disregard for the welfare of indigenous populations. Drawing on all that went before, it explains not only the how and why of current U.S. immigration policy, but also its often-devastating effects on migrant workers.


  • Primary source documents include presidential papers, treaties, UN reports, and more
  • Presents a chronology of major events in both the United States and Mexico over time
  • Provides three maps of Texas prior to the creation of the Texas Republic
  • Includes a comprehensive bibliography across academic disciplines
Laurence Armand French is professor emeritus of psychology from Western New Mexico University and senior research associate at the JusticeWorks Institute at the University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH. He is Senior Fulbright Scholar assigned to the University of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the 2009/2010 academic year. He has written more than 260 academic publications including 14 books. He received the 1999 National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) research award for his work in assessing substance abuse among minorities in the U.S. southwest.


"...this work is well researched...Recommended..."—Choice, March 23, 2011
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