Summary of "The Border Patrol State" by Leslie Marmom Silko

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In the article “The Border Patrol State”, Leslie Marmon Silko argues that borders have never worked and they never will. She says that “the great migration within the Americas cannot be stopped; human beings are natural forces of the Earth, just as rivers and winds are natural forces. In the article she describes a personal incident in which she and a friend were “hassled” by the Border Patrol. Silko writes about how she used to travel the highways with a sense of freedom as she cruised down the open road, and how she was taught in school that freedom to travel was the inalienable right to travel as citizens of the United States.

Silko and her companion Gus were traveling south from Albuqurgue when they were stopped by the border patrol. The agents ordered the two to step out of their vehicle. Silko said that she could sense a feeling of violence and menace that she will never forget. She compares her experience with a report she had read on the Argentine police officers who became addicted to interrogation, torture, and the murder that followed.

The men eventually order a small female German shepherd to search the car. The men were violent with the small dog and became upset when she showed no interest in the inside of the car, so they dragged her to the trunk and then ordered her to sniff their legs and feet. Silko says that the dog had “an innate dignity that did not permit her to serve the murderous impulses of those men.” She then describes how she connected with the dog as they both felt scared of what the men might do. Silko had a small amount of marijuana in her purse that night, that the dog did not expose to the men.

Silko goes on to say that what happened to her that night is, unfortunately, a common occurrence. She describes how people of certain colors, who people who travel with those of certain colors are stopped and thought to be suspicious more than people of other colors. Silko also talks about how the Border Patrol pretty much do...
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