© 2020

Immigration, Environment, and Security on the U.S.-Mexico Border

  • Provides a transdisciplinary approach, bridging anthropology, environmental history, conservation studies and critical race theory

  • Links environmental and political histories to current events, especially militarization of the border and human rights

  • Analyzes findings based on several years of ethnographic fieldwork, archival research and media analysis


Table of contents

About this book


This book examines the convergence of conservation and security efforts along the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona. The author presents a unique analysis of the history of Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, a federally protected border wilderness area. Beginning in the early 1990s, changes to U.S. immigration policy dramatically altered the political and natural landscape in and around Cabeza Prieta. In particular, the increasing presence of Border Patrol has contributed to environmental degradation in wilderness. Complicated human rights concerns are also explored in the book. Protecting wildlife in an area with high rates of undocumented border-crossing and smuggling results in complex and sometimes controversial conservation policies. Ultimately, the observations and analysis presented in this book illustrate ways in which the politics of race and nationalism are subtly, but significantly, interwoven into border environmental and security policies.


Lisa Meierotto is Assistant Professor in the School of Public Service at Boise State University, USA.


borders nature conservation security studies critical race theory United States Mexico Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge immigration Arizona conservation disciplined space environment

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public Service, Global Studies and Environmental StudiesBoise State UniversityBoiseUSA

About the authors

Lisa Meierotto is Assistant Professor in the School of Public Service at Boise State University, USA.

Bibliographic information