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Targeted: National Security and the Business of Immigration

by Repost Thursday, Feb. 22, 2007 at 1:02 PM

DEEPA FERNANDES is the host of the popular morning show, “Wakeup call” on Pacifica radio station WBAI in New York City. Her award-winning radio features have aired on the BBC World Service, and Public Radio International. Her writing has appeared in the Village Voice, In These Times, and the New York Amsterdam News. Targeted, her first book, is the result of four years of research collecting narratives from immigrants as well as human rights groups, community organizers and lawyers who are challenging the Bush Administration's policies.

Targeted: National S...
targeted.jpg, image/jpeg, 500x500

In Targeted, Deepa Fernandes exposes the immigration-industrial complex. She follows the money of the DHS-funded companies that profit, and tells the stories of the immigrants who ultimately pay.This well-researched book documents the perfect storm of white nationalist policy, corporate greed and the privatized war on terror. As an immigrant herself twice over, Fernandes writes movingly about the experiences of "brown people in white countries," and shows that when anyone is diminished, we all lose."

—Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!





"Deepa Fernandes has written a truly brilliant book. She goes to the heart of current U.S. immigration policy--a policy centered on criminalizing and policing black and brown bodies. But just as superexploited immigrant labor has been--and continues to be--the source of huge profits for U.S. capital, now the repressive apparatus created to police the border and those who cross over has become the latest capitalist dream. If we really want immigration policies geared toward social justice, we must read this book."

—Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination





“Deepa Fernandes has created a powerful text of stories, interviews, research, and facts to dramatize the inanity of a war the United States government is waging against the immigrant poor in the guise of fighting terrorism. Economic realities are forcing people to leave their homes for an uncertain, exploitative, and often deadly journey to this country Targeted is a much-needed sobering look at what is really going on in the midst of anti-immigrant hysterics and jingoism emanating from the halls of Congress to the desert borderlands.

—Luis J. Rodriguez, author of Always Running, La Vida Loca, Gang Days in LA and Music of the Mill: A Novel





"Immigrants are dying for jobs like cleaning our toilets. Hundreds suffocate every year in the Arizona desert. Recycled Halliburton air strips make up the wall. That’s the bottom line few recognize like Deepa Fernandes. He portrays not only the human dimension, but how an immigration-industrial complex profits at all our expense."

—Tom Hayden, California delegate, U.S.-Mexico Border Commission, 1980. Author, Street Wars, the Globalization of Gangs





"The most comprehensive book on post 9/11 attack on immigrants in the US. From the desert sands of the US-Mexican border to detentionn centers in NYC, and from the decades old writings of right wing ideologues to the draconian anti immigrant legislations of the last few years, Fernandes has woven together an in depth story of the current state of US immigration policy; its origins, its arbitrariness, its contradictions and its ineffectiveness. If you wish to understand contemporary America, this book is a must read."

-- Biju Mathew, author of "Taxi! Cabs and Capitalism





"Deepa Fernandes has written a very important book. Targeted will be a very useful reading for those working to promote immigrant rights, but this book will be especially relevant for anyone who cares about American democracy and its institutions. Deepa Fernandes extensive and serious research about immigration policies, homeland security business and the elites that profit from both, offers solid information and facts in contrast with the constant flow of prejudice, misinformation and outright lies that seem to frame the debate in our current "talk show" culture.

Targeted provides a complex historical, economic and political analysis that transforms information in knowledge to better understand the forces at work in the intersection of immigration, homeland security, political opportunism and greed. Her description and careful documentation of what she calls "the immigration industrial complex" exposes the blatant contradictions of a society that wants to be both safe and democratic, but keeps voting in a way that undermines the institutions and mechanisms that will make democracy and security accessible for all people and not just for a few chosen ones.



In the very tough post 9/11 context, Deepa Fernandes carefully documents specific immigration policy abuses and courageously denounces the institutions and policies that make them happen; even more important, she identifies politicians, government officials and corporations that are profiting from it. Her detailed description of "how white supremacists are writing immigration policy and Democrats are sleeping at the wheel" is a frightening reminder of how bad things have been in the past and how bad they can get when short term political pragmatism and electoral considerations replace the values and identity of the political actors.



The information and knowledge that Targeted provides are very relevant to those interested in the current human rights and democracy crisis in the U.S.; the stories of suffering, resistance and dignity of the persons and families affected offer us access to a wisdom that is hard to find amidst the noise of an immigration debate dominated by fear, ignorance and political opportunism. In the short term, reading "Targeted" is important to better understand the "immigration industrial complex" and how it is undermining both U.S. democracy and security at all levels; in the long run this book will stand as a powerful statement of faith in the American people, trusting that when given the facts it will end doing the right thing."

—Pancho Argüelles. Co-author of BRIDGE (Building a Race and Immigration Dialogue in the Global Economy) NNIRR. Winner of the 2004 Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award.





America has always portrayed itself as a country of immigrants, welcoming each year the millions seeking a new home or refuge in this land of plenty. Increasingly, instead of finding their dream, many encounter a nightmare—a country whose culture and legal system aggressively target and prosecute them.

In Targeted, journalist Deepa Fernandes seamlessly weaves together history, political analysis, and first-person narratives of those caught in the grips of the increasingly Kafkaesque U.S. Homeland Security system. She documents how in post-9/11 America immigrants have come to be deemed a national security threat.

Fernandes—herself an immigrant well-acquainted with U.S. immigration procedures—takes the reader on a harrowing journey inside the new American immigrant experience, a journey marked by militarized border zones, racist profiling, criminalization, detention and deportation. She argues that since 9/11, the Bush administration has been carrying out a series of systematic changes to decades-old immigration policy that constitute a roll back of immigrant rights and a boon for businesses who are helping to enforce the crackdown on immigrants, creating a growing “Immigration Industrial Complex.” She also documents the bullet-to-ballot strategy of white supremacist elements that influence our new immigration legislation.





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