Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part One: The U.S. Border Patrol Is A Nightmare That Never Ends

Part One: The U.S. Border Patrol Is A Nightmare That Never Ends

Thu, 06 Aug 2020 10:00

Part One: The U.S. Border Patrol Is A Nightmare That Never Ends

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Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Wanna say I don't know less? Listen to stuff you should know more. Join host Josh and Chuck on the podcast packed with fascinating discussions about science, history, pop culture and more episodes. Dive into topics like was the lost, city of Atlantis Real? And how does pizza work? Say goodbye to I don't know. Because after listening to stuff you should know you will listen to stuff you should know on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her impactful behavioral discoveries on chimpanzees. It wasn't until one of the chimpanzees began to lose his fear of me, but I began to really make discoveries that actually shook the scientific world. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. You know, introducing a podcast is a little bit like making love. It's not. It's not at all. I'm so sorry. I'm Robert Evans, failing to introduce my podcast yet again. It's behind the ********. It's about terrible people. I'm so sorry, everyone. I was. I was trying to open with my folksy wisdom, but I have none. And I've got now. I've botched the start of this episode. Here to attempt to take away some of my shame is Caitlin Durante. Caitlin, how are you doing today? Oh, you know, I'm just. Barely keeping it together at any moment. Uh, but otherwise, Caitlin, can you think of any similarities between introducing a podcast and making love? Well, let me think about that. Oh, I have one, I have one, I have one. OK yeah, yeah, yeah. The audio levels can go up and down. The audio levels can go up and down. That's a good similarity, Sophie, very much. Sure. Maybe an entire, not just introducing an episode, but an entire episode. I think you could draw some parallels between you've got, you know, there's like, the intro is sort of like the foreplay, and then you've got, you know, usually a big climactic finish to the episode. Well, there you go, everybody, if you were. Yeah, we figured it out. You wanted to compare a random episode of my podcast about bad people to making love. Caitlin Durante has kind of made it easier. Maybe. Caitlin, how are you doing today? Alright, you know, I'm just. You're in your closet. Recording. I'm in my closet. You're in your closet. I'm looking at your luggage right now. Nice luggage. I see you go with the hard shell. Thank you. Yes. It it is a really nice closet, if I remember from the photos you sent me, like, it's it's a very good sized closet. It truly is. Thank you so much. You wanna hear a little story about me, Caitlin? Because I'm a narcissist. OK. So you know, I travel a lot too. Caitlin and I have refused my entire traveling life to have like a hard shelled Rolly suitcase, even though they're much more comfortable to use at the airport than a backpack. Because as a young man with an indestructible spine, I was like. Only stupid old people use the rolly backpacks. I'm gonna be I'm gonna be a young adventurer forever, and I just get to wear a backpack. And now I just hurt myself every time I go to the airport out of pride. And that's why men shouldn't be allowed to hold political office. He couldn't agree with you more. Yeah, you mean you you carry around one of those like big like backpacking? Yeah, big, old, big, old. Backpacking backpack. Yeah. Horrible, horrible. Sometimes they carry a duffel bag. Even worse. That's absurd. Yeah, it's terrible idea. But, you know, it does tie in with the theme of today's episode, because what do you do with, what do you do with backpacks and rolling suitcases? Caitlin? Yeah. I mean, you bring them with you to travel, you bring them with you to cross borders. Yeah. And today we're talking about LA ************* Migra, the Border Patrol boy. Yay. I just want to say nice job. Yeah, that was great. Thanks. Been a long journey to starting the episode this week, but I think we got. There. Nicely, yeah. Sorry to everyone who's been, you know, this has been a little bit of a weird run of behind the ******** the uprising episodes. We're still going to be doing the dictators and grifters, you know, that are bread and butter. But I keep getting obsessed with different law enforcement agencies, particularly the ones, you know, shooting at me. And so I started just kind of reading a bunch about Customs and Border Patrol this last week or so, and I couldn't stop. And so I wrote. A lot about them. And now we're all going to talk about Border Patrol because, Caitlin, did you know the Border Patrol? Kind of problematic? Wait a minute. What do you mean? Yeah, not nice dudes. Uh, as it turns out, and have kind of been ***** for like 100 something years or like 100 years. They've been ***** for a long time. Very close to 100 years. OK, 9096 years. All right. Yeah. Which, you know, they still have time to change. You know, a lot of people have their best, their best. You know, their second act after age 96. Yeah, I would say that applies to a large number of people. A lot of tortoises, at least a lot of tortoises, go on to do very cool things after age 96. Yeah. Trees as well. There's a lot of old trees that are a lot of great trees and things. Border Patrol could be like a Sequoia. Mm-hmm. Yeah. But I don't know how likely I think that is. So we're going to talk about, we're going to talk about the migra today because they're terrible, and I don't think most people know how terrible they are. And they're terrible. Ability is important because it is tied in with a lot of. Horrible things about this country and the very concept of whiteness. So how are you feeling about that, Caitlin? You know, I don't feel good about it. I really don't. That's good, because my cunning plan has been to blame you personally for all of the historical crimes of the US Border Patrol. Well, I did invent them. You. You, you. You launched the Immigration Act of 1924. That's Caitlin durante's. That's that's on your resume. Yeah. I didn't want that to be my legacy, but here we are. Yeah. A lot of people don't know this, but you used to be all of Congress in the early 1920s. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, pretty impressive when you think about. No, it really is. Yeah. Congress durante. Yeah. You were you instead of Caitlin, you were Congress Durante does true. If we're going to talk about the Border Patrol, we've got to talk about the border and given that the territory we currently know as like Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and even Mexico. Is all land that was stolen from indigenous people. This is not like a case where there's a lot of good guys to choose from. If you're talking about, like, conflicts over the US Mexican border, you're talking about like a bunch of different states that kind of sucked fighting each other for land that wasn't theirs, like that that that's the whole that's the whole deal, right? So the US Mexican War of 1846 to 1848 is the conflict that gained our nation most of the modern SW. It was a naked war of imperialist aggression against another nation that brutally subjugated indigenous peoples. One can argue that Mexico was like a broadly better country than the US at this point since it didn't allow slavery, but both countries not not great to anyone any like indigenous peoples or whatever. Just just just bad bad. Had governments. So at the end of the US Mexican War, the United States wound up occupying Mexico City. In that nation was forced to cede 50% of its NT and the resulting treaty and I think a lot of Americans who grow up kind of outside of the Southwest. Don't really have a clear idea of how much land. The United States got as a result of the US Mexican War, but we took a **** load of land from Mexico. It's ******* crazy how much of this country used to be Mexico, like up into Oklahoma? Yeah, I don't have a good gauge on that because I I grew up in Pennsylvania and that just wasn't something that. They bothered to tell us in history class, yeah, we went on like most of the Southwest was kind of at one point or another. Part of Mexico. And so yeah, we took about 50% of Mexico's NT and a new US Mexican border was redrawn along the Rio Grande from the Gulf to El Paso and then along more or less an arbitrary line further W up the Pacific. Now this meant that a huge number of people who previously lived in Mexico and had been able to travel freely around territory that was all part of 1 nation now found themselves living in between two nations. This included roughly 180,000 members of indigenous tribes. As well as about 150,000 Mexicans. So these 300,000 ish non white folks owned most of the land in like the the territories in the southwest that you know became Texas and some of the surrounding States and the decades after the US Mexican War are kind of best viewed as a gradual process of white people taking this land from non white people. Some of it through purchase, some of it through like violent threats and intimidation, some of it as a result of the reservation system kicking indigenous people off of their ancestral land. And some of it through just like good old you know good old good old fashioned genocide Caitlin. Just like that. Just like really getting your boots in it. You know, I mean those are the main principles that the US was founded on, right. White people stealing land from non white people and genocide adding them. You gosh darn right Caitlin, you're gosh darn right. And that's why when I get up in the. I'm just thinking like I Folgers coffee commercial. You know, one of those old ones was like a cowboy getting up on the range is sipping a Folgers coffee and then just like stepping into a pile of bones and just being like, ah, nothing like a nice morning walking barefoot through a pile of bones. The thing that I do. Every day as a cowboy. Yeah, why wasn't that their ad campaign for Folgers? Well, murder, everybody. Coffee helps. Ohh. Oh, I was drinking coffee and it went down the wrong hole. Caitlin? Oh no. Wow. See, coffee can't be stopped from attempting genocide. Even coffee wants to murder it. Coffee wants nothing but to murder. So as we discussed in our last episode of the behind the police miniseries that we just did, the Texas Rangers was kind of the first Border Patrol type force in, you know, the Southwest. And they began their history as a as a group, like a paramilitary organization to provide to protect white settlers in Texas. There are formed by a local mayor named John Jackson Tumlinson, who was part of the old 300 white families who first settled in Texas. Stephen F Austin now, it wasn't a popular decision for these 300 families to settle in Texas, and the Comanches, Tonkawa's, Apaches, and Karankawas who already resided in the area got kind of angry and started murdering them. So Tumlinson ordered the formation of a roving defensive patrol. This patrol became the Texas Rangers, but Tumlinson never got to see it formed because he was almost immediately killed by Karankawa and Huaco indigenous people before he got off the ground. Like Karma to me, yeah, it sounds like it's fine. Like it's a shame they didn't get more people. So the Rangers were kind of this country's first Border Patrol force, and the primary method of action for them was just, again, really just straight up genocide. In the early days, there were like a paramilitary army. They acted as scouts for actual militias. They would swoop in and force indigenous people out of their homes and onto reservations, but would also just burn their villages sometime and murder their women and children because, you know, whatever you sometimes you. Come into the office and you wanna do things different. Uh, I don't know. Yeah. They also engaged in the murder and intimidation of Mexicans and border communities. And by the early 1900s, the indigenous folks had mostly been forced off their land and the Rangers had become a police force focused mainly on Mexicano Mexicano communities on the border. The primary strategy was what's known to historians as revenge by proxy. And for an example of how that looked, I'm going to quote from the American Crossroads book Migra quote. On June 12th, 1901, a Mexicano rancher named Gregorio Cortez stood at the gate of his home in Karnes County, Texas. There he resisted arrest for a crime that he did not commit. The sheriff persisted, drew his gun, and shot Gregorio's brother in the mouth. When he charged at the sheriff to protect Gregorio, Gregorio shot back and killed the sheriff, an act that was sure to bring the Texas Rangers to his doorstep. When they came, Gregorio and his family, including his wounded brother, were gone. All that remained was the dead body of the sheriff. The news of Gregorio's deadly defiance quickly spread across southern. Access. And yeah, for 10 days the Texas Rangers and posses numbering up to 300 min hunted for him. When they could not find him, they sought revenge by proxy, arresting, brutalizing, and murdering an unknown number of Mexicanos. So that's like how the Texas Rangers kind of worked for a while is Hispanic person commits a crime or a perceived crime and if they can't catch him to murder him publicly, they just kill a bunch of other random Mexicans so that, like, people don't get uppity. That's the that's the first Border Patrol. Horrible. Pretty bad Caitlin. Pretty bad. Don't like it. I don't like it. 1 bit. OK, so you are, you are on the, you are on the record now about not being in favor of murdering random people as part of a fear based. System of law enforcement. Yes, and I am. I am happy to be on the record this state. That's a bold stance. That's a bold stance. Gonna lose you some advertisers, Caitlin. Especially our big advertiser, Raytheon. Yeah. When you really need a group of people intimidated by violence, there's no other option. But Raytheon. Raytheon. Let a robot do it. I know that's a that's a free. That's a free one. Raytheon just had to layoff a lot of employees. Sophie and I, for one, have a sense of loyalty. So I'm trying to help Raytheon out with some free ads. So, look, if you've got a couple billion extra dollars that you need to spend on missiles that are filled with knives in order to assassinate, you know, insurgent leaders in Yemen. Look, don't go to Lockheed Martin. Go to Raytheon, OK? There, it's just better knife missiles, right? That's that's all I'm going to say. I have. I have a sense of loyalty. So for the 1st 20 years of the century, the US Mexican border was policed by a mix of Texas Rangers. And like local sheriffs, such enforcement was always piecemeal, with hundreds of miles of borderland operating basically autonomously as it had for generations. Like the idea that we would police our border like didn't exist until pretty recently. For most of American history, it was just like. Well, yeah, you've got this big empty chunk of country and eventually it becomes Mexico and it's nobody's, nobody really gives a ****. Yeah, you see, all these communities had existed for forever, for hundreds of years in a lot of cases. And, you know, they had family who would be up in Mexico or up in the United States and it would have seemed like it would have seemed like madness to try to, to try to split these communities up based on an arbitrary border line that nobody could even see. But yeah, in the 1920s that started to change. In 1924 the Immigration Act was passed and the Immigration Act banned all immigration to the United States from Asia. And it massively reduced immigration in from the South, from southern and Eastern Europe. The goal of the Act was for the first time to enshrine in law the federal government's preference for Nordic whites above non white people when it came to immigration. So basically set up a quota system. Yikes. Yeah. Have you heard about this? This is when we decided that only one kind of white people were allowed in the country. Ohm. This is the Italians aren't white enough law, but people used to really care about that right in the 1924 Immigration Act. A big part of it was stopping Italians, or as they would have called them Italians, which used to be, I think, more racist than it is and is now just a funny old timey way of making fun of Italians. Which I'm always. I'm always in favor of Caitlin. How do you feel about it? I do know that my last name is Durante and that I am. Hey, partly Italian. Yes, so am I. That's why it's OK. Good. Alright. Awesome. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Are we are are we white? How's that? How's that work? I have heard slightly varying things, but I think by and large Italian people are considered white. Yes, I was looking at a a Nazi cartoon the other day because I do things like that for my mental health. And it was like the point it was making is that, like, social justice advocates are always white and fascists are actually really diverse. And so, like, it was a bunch of white people lecturing Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito. But, but because it was drawn by a fascist, they drew in Mussolini as a black man because they don't think Italians are white. So it's just like there were a lot of layers of wrongness there to parse through. It was one of those things that looked very confusing to people who don't immediately recognize, oh, these are the kind of racists who don't even think Italians count as white. Very funny, but in the 1920s, that was all of Congress. Sure. And they were like we gotta pass a law to stop these Italians from coming in. So yeah the Immigration Act of 1924 bans all Asian immigration and tries to kind of restrict to only the the right kind of white people and the one real exception to this the only kind of like non white folks who were allowed into the country under the Immigration Act without any kind of restriction where where Mexicans and this is because of ******** labor or lobbying by the the agricultural industry, right? Because, like, basically you had all these ranchers and farmers in Texas particularly and in the Southwest who were like, our entire industry doesn't work without these people, so you have to let them in. So the 201924 act does kind of make an exception for that. It's very heavily based on race science. And in fact, like a big factor in what got the act passed was a bunch of bogus studies conducted by the Eugenics Research Office at Cold Spring Harbor that kind of provided intellectual justification for the law by arguing that the wrong kind of immigrants. Leave the surges and violent crime and declines in IQ. So don't like this. That no, this is bad, this is bad. And the 1924 Immigration Act is what establishes the US Border Patrol for the very first time. So this, this fundamentally racist law written by people who justified it explicitly with racist like like bad race science, is where the Border Patrol is initially established, so literally born in an **** of racism. And in fact, the the 1924 Immigration Act that established the Border Patrol was so nakedly. Racist that Adolf Hitler took inspiration from it in 19. Yeah, it's bad. It's really bad, Caitlin. This is where Border Patrol comes from. Ohh no yeah, it's not great. In 1928 Hitler wrote this of the law. There is currently one state in which one can observe at least a week. Beginnings of a better conception. This is of course not Germany, but the American Union. The American Union Union categorically refuses the immigration of physically unhealthy elements and simply excludes the immigration of certain races. So wait, Hitler in the 20s took a look at what we were doing in the US and was like, I like the looks of that. Let me copy paste. And do that. Yeah. And that's exactly what happened. That's exactly what happened. Oh dear. That's exactly. And he wrote extensively about how inspired he was by US immigration law, which was, like, the most racist in the world at the time. Holy ****. You want to know something else? Cool? Caitlin? This is a neat story. You're going to love this. Please tell me the story. You know El Paso? Great Town, solid tacos. A lot of immigration in Del Paso, right? Always has been. Because it's it's the past, right? You know, that's just where it's located back in like, the 20s. And 30s, when immigrants would come in a racist white people were so worried about how dirty they thought Mexicans were that they would mandate delousing baths for everybody who entered the country. And they would just douse them in pesticide. And the pesticide that they chose was Zyklon B. Wait, what is that? That's what they killed all the Jews with in the camp. Yeah. Yeah. That's another thing the Nazis were like, oh, this seems like something we could modify a little bit to make better for us. Isn't that cool? That's good stuff. It's not really ****. It was super flammable and sometimes people burnt horribly to death. Good stuff on the border. Kind of always a nightmare. Kind of. If you study the history of the border, maybe the only reasonable conclusion is that borders are fundamentally toxic, but and completely made-up. They're just and total ********. Yes, of like, horrible, usually racist ideology. They're just lines. Racist lines we draw on a map that murder tons of people. It's awesome. It's really good. So yeah, the Border Patrol comes out of is is formed. From a law that the Nazis look at and go, that's a good law, says we the Nazis. Sweet stuff, Caitlin. So because the the Immigration Act was passed alongside a surge of racist, nativist fear about those dastardly nonwhite immigrants, it mandated that the new Border Patrol be established quickly. The first version of the force was basically built overnight from May 28th to July 1st, so rapidly that there was no time for the patrol to actually create any kind of qualification exam for its new recruits. The first wave of men to wear the services green uniform were instead required to pass the railway mail clerk Civil Service exam, which I'm sure is basically the same thing. Yeah. So as a result, and this is something we'll talk about in Part 2, this, this winds up being a long trend in the Border Patrol is every decision they make, they have to, like, immediately adopt it. And they never have time to train anybody to do the job that they're going to do. And everyone's just fine with this. And it persists for 96 years. So the whole thing every, like, decisions are made all Willy nilly. People are brought in with no training, no training implemented with nobody knows what they're doing. Thought given to it, they're just like, here's what we decided and we're not going to take a second to examine this at all. We're just going to do it. Yeah. I mean, the current DHS secretary, Chad Wolf, has no law enforcement experience, was never in the military, and I think went to college on like a tennis scholarship. So it's great. It's it's cool how things are always exactly the same forever. Because yeah, again, if people ever learn a single lesson from history, the world will explode. So we have to. Not do that anyway. There's also a conundrum there, too, right? Because so much of history that gets taught, at least in schools, is so horribly whitewashed and revisionist that, like, how can anyone learn anything from it? You know, yeah, you know. That's a good point, Caitlin, and that's that's why as I see all these kids in the street who just aren't going to school anymore and are instead spending their nights drop kicking the doors of a federal courthouse to try to taunt the agents inside to attack them, I think probably fine. Probably learning about as much, right? True. So yeah, the very first Border Patrol men were mostly male clerks, and obviously male clerks maybe aren't super meant to be tromping around the desert hunting people, and about 1/4 of everyone in the Border Patrol quit in their first month of the job. Turnover remained incredibly high for basically the whole history of the organization, but particularly its early years, and this made it kind of impossible for it to develop any kind of functional. Internal culture at the start, uh. By 1927, the Border Patrol had been forced to hire inspectors who could not even pass civil service exams. The agency tried desperately to recruit military veterans and men with law enforcement experience, but the vast majority of their new hires were just unemployed men who lived in border towns. These were white working class folks who'd had trouble keeping a job. And we're kind of desperate for a leg up and the regular income that a law enforcement career would allow, as well as kind of the respect and pride or respect that you would get as a member of law enforcement. Right, like they wanted some power. These were like poor working class whites. Ohh, don't give anybody power. It never goes well. No, especially not poor white men in the country. Yeah. So immigration from Mexico into the United States had not traditionally been, like, a major subject of national political debate. People in Texas, you know, there were folks who cared about it. But like, really, on a national level, if you'd like, run based on your plan to build a wall around Mexico, 99% of Americans have been like, what the **** is your problem? Like, why do you give a **** about that? Everyone is dying of diphtheria and the economy is permanently crashed. Please, please stop. Which I guess now we're back at, so maybe that'll help. I mean, wow, the parent. I don't hear as many people giving a **** about the border these days. I'll say that much. That's true. Maybe it's because nobody wants to come here anymore. We did it, Caitlin. We finally stopped it. Just turn the US into a disease ridden hellhole. All it took was a runaway plague that we completely give up any hope of ever dealing with. OK, you know what? President Trump figured it out. Good for him. You know what President Trump didn't figure out? Oh, the products and services that support this podcast. That's right, we keep them a secret from the president. 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Took me 5 minutes to get comfortable with speaker, and when I find a new friend that has an incredible show, I want them to make money. I want them to be able to do what I did. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Get paid to talk about the things you love with spreaker from iheart. We're back. Oh my gosh. I for one, love that Trump for America bought up all of our advertising space. When I think of President, I think of. The president, anyway. Uh, so immigration from Mexico had not traditionally been a big, big political debate issue, right? The wealthy Agri business owners in Texas preferred simple immigration from Mexico, and they fought to ensure that Mexicans were not subject to the same harsh immigration restrictions as other immigrants. In the 1924 Bill, one business owner put it simply, without the Mexicans, we would be done. Which hasn't really changed, you know? And it's like. We'll talk about this a little bit later on, but it is it is this kind of one of the things that you didn't even realize was, like, really problematic when I was a young person. Kind of dealing with the mix between outwardly hateful racists in the Southwest and Nice people who don't realize they're racist is like the nice people. The outwardly hateful people are like, you know, the Trump type folks that you know, who want to build a wall and kick all the rapists Mexicans out. Sure. They're easy to to spot. Yeah. Yeah. And then you have this chunk of people who are like, well, I hate what Trump's doing and like I'm happy to have Mexicans here because you know, they they do great work and you know, they're, they're, they're great at this and they're good at that and they're good at. And it's this thing where like especially like you know, you don't necessarily notice especially as like a young white person was like 1819 like what, what, what's actually being said there, which is like the commodification of of non white bodies, which is like not, not cool. But we're going to talk more about that later, because this is where that all starts in an organized way, which is awesome. So, uh, the white working class in tech, so obviously like these kind of these kind of land owners, the kind of aristocracy in Texas in this. Right, like the ranchers and stuff, they were broadly like, they wanted more Mexicans and they they could never get enough because, like, they needed people to to actually work their farms. But the white working class in Texas and the white working class, even in rural areas, really had nursed like a growing hatred of Mexican people and had been for years. And this was based on a mix of, like, fear that Mexican immigrants would take their jobs. That was always like a core part of it, and also based on kind of like good old fashioned racism, one labor union official in Texas at the time noted quote, I hope they never let another Mexican come to the United States. The country would be a whole lot better off for the white laboring man if there weren't so many inwards and Mexicans and yeah. Well, and this is one of those things if you're like kind of scaring yourself with the history of Labor, you know, I'm a big fan of Labor history and I think there's a lot of wonderful stuff there. You do have to square with the fact that, like a lot of those dudes who were right about a lot of important things were incredibly racist and hated non white people because they saw them as a threat to white working class people. I mean which that all stems from. Capitalism, more or less, yes, absolutely, yeah. Any. Fairness or parity. When it came to income and labor, people wouldn't have to be worried about other people. There wouldn't be this fear of like, who is my job in danger? Who's going to take my job? Because they're like a more just. It's just socialized economy would eliminate that fear, absolutely. Yep. So the the actual laws on the books in this period of time had been written largely by the rich landed Gentry who needed Mexican immigrants. But now that the Border Patrol existed post 1924, the men enforcing those laws were working class whites who really just hated Mexicans. And they honestly didn't give a **** about the needs of farmers. And in fact, a lot of them saw kind of being able to police undocumented migrants as a way of kind of equalizing their level of social power with farmers because. Thing you know, they were poorer than these guys. They didn't have property, but now they had the ability to to arrest these dudes, workers and like that gave them a level of power in their culture and a level of power of these people who had kind of previously been the bosses. And, you know, kind of for a lot of these guys who became the first Border Patrol workers, these were obviously, these were white men, but they were men whose kind of sense of whiteness had been hanging on by a thread prior to this, this opportunity coming around. And I'm going to quote again from the book Migra quote, early officers may have lived in white neighborhoods, worshipped at white churches and sent their children to white schools, but a salesman, chauffeurs, machinists, and cowpunchers they had labored at the edges of whiteness in the Borderlands, the steady pay and everyday social authority of US immigration law enforcement. Dangled before them the possibility of lifting themselves from a marginalized existence as what Neil Foley has examined as the white scourge of borderland communities. Policing Mexicans, in other words, presented officers with the opportunity to enter the region's primary economy and in the process shore up their tentative claims upon whiteness as immigration control was emerging as a critical sight of simultaneously expanding the boundaries of whiteness while hardening the distinctions between whites and non whites. The project of enforcing immigration restrictions therefore placed Border Patrol officers. And what police scholar David Bailey describes as the cutting edge of the state's knife in terms of enforcing new boundaries between whites and non whites. So that is the Border Patrol in this. The cutting edge of the states knife, you know, cleaving the boundaries between white and non white people. It's a way to look at it very. Picturesque, yeah, oof. Now this is made a lot more complicated by the fact that a chunk of the early Border Patrol were Mexican American, and these guys in a lot of cases saw their ability, their career in law enforcement as a way of separating themselves from non white people. The League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, specifically stated that Mexican American Association with colored races is what held them back from full acceptance by white society in this period of time. In the book, MIGRA includes the story of 1 early Officer, Patrol Inspector Pete Torres, who was marked by a colleague for being Mexican. In response, he shot at the man's feet and yelled, I am not a Mexican, I am a Spanish American. Yeah, so this is like. It's yeah. Internalized, yeah. It's a complicated history here. And I I'm not going to, I'm not going to go into tremendous depth about this aspect of the history because I'm just, I'm not at all the right person to do so. The right person to do so, in fact, is probably Kelly Kelly Little Hernandez, author of the book Migra History of the US Border Patrol. She does talk about this in in more depth, and I really recommend her book. But you should know that's like an aspect of what's going on here. And and and as a rule, one of the things that starts to happen in particular around like the 40s is kind of a growing Spanish or Mexican American community who are very pro immigration enforcement and pro like harsher immigration laws and laws against illegal immigration. They start to like solidify as a voting bloc in the Southwest in this. Too. And they still are to this day. It's a lot of people are like shocked when they see Hispanics for Trump and stuff, and there's actually pretty deep roots for a lot of that stuff. Yeah, so, uh, most early border patrolmen, though, we're we're white dudes, and it would probably be fair to call them white supremacists. And as the years went by, our government gave them increasing powers to exercise racism with state of authority behind it. From a write up in the intercept quote, while the 1924 immigration law spared Mexico quota, a series of secondary laws, including one that made it a crime to enter the country outside of official ports of entry, gave border and customs agents on the spot discretion to decide who could enter the country legally. They had the power to turn what had been a routine. Daily or seasonal event crossing the border to go to work into a ritual of abuse. Hygienic inspections became more widespread and even more degrading. Migrants had their head shaved, and they were subjected to an increasingly arbitrary set of requirements at the discretion of patrollers, including literacy tests and entrance fees. The patrol wasn't a large agency at first, just a few hundred men during its early years, and its reach along a 2000 mile line was limited. But over the years, it's reported brutality grew as the number of agents that deployed increased border agents beat shot, and hung migrants. With regularity, 2 patrollers, former Texas Rangers tied the feet of 1 migrant and dragged him in and out of a river until he confessed to having entered the country illegally. Other patrollers were members of the resurgent Ku Klux Klan, active in border towns from Texas to California. Practically every other member of El Paso's National Guard was in the Clan, 1 military officer recalled, and many had joined the Border Patrol upon its establishment. So not great ideally, you know, if you if you ask me, we keep coming back to the KKK. And how it repeatedly infiltrated law enforcement. Hmm. Someone maybe had to do something about that. So for its first ten years of existence, the Border Patrol operated under the authority of the Department of Labor, and when FDR was elected, he appointed Francis Perkins to be Secretary of Labor. And she tried to curtail the violence of the Border Patrol and reform it. And this didn't really work out in the long run. She attempted to cut down on warrantless arrest. She mandated that detained migrants had a right to receive phone calls. She fought to provide migrants with at least some version of the civil rights they lacked as non citizens. But before long, FDR was pressured by the agricultural industry. Put the Border Patrol under the control of the Department of Justice. Now, this might seem surprising at first because, like, these rich farmers were the same folks who'd fought to ensure Mexican immigrants wouldn't be subject to quotas in the 1924 immigration law. But there's a reason behind it, because these folks had wanted these, you know, ranchers and stuff, had wanted Mexicans here to work their farms, but they hadn't wanted these people to actually stay in the United States, lobbyist S Parker Frizzell had told Congress in 1926. The Mexican. He's a Homer. Like the pigeon, he goes home to roost. And Frizzell's promise had been that Mexicans weren't really immigrants, and thus they should be exempt from the USA's white supremacist immigration laws. They were birds of passage, he argued, just hanging around for a little while to work. But by the turn of the decade, as we hit, like start going into the 1930s, Mexicans had started to settle all across the southwest, buying homes and starting communities in places like Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. In 1900, only about 100,000 Mexican immigrants. Lived in the United States. By 1930, there were one and a half million Mexican immigrants in this country. So this starts to freak out a lot of white agriculturalists, right? And it it kind of. You know, they had been, they had been OK with these people coming into work, but at the end of the day, there they were the same kind of white supremacists as the, uh, the Border Patrol men. They were just a little bit more refined. And once it started to look like these, these Mexicans were coming in and actually going to be contributing and changing the demographics of the nation, they panicked. And the only thing they could really think of to do was give the Border Patrol more power to enforce how many Mexicans could enter the country. And there was a real big, like, debate over this, right? Because you you still needed a certain as as these farmers, you still needed a certain minimum amount of of of migrants coming in every year in order to actually, like, keep your farms working. And the guy who kind of figured out a solution to this problem was Senator Coleman Livingston, Blease. He was a white supremacist congressman who first took office in 1925. And his solution was rather than creating a system of quotas and caps that would have reduced manpower. American fields. He just wanted to criminalize unmonitored border crossing. So this is the very first time that it becomes illegal to cross the US Mexican border without doing it at a border station. That's 1929. That law has passed, and I'm going to quote from an article in the conversation explaining what happened here. According to Bliss's bill, unlawfully entering the country would be a misdemeanor, while unlawfully returning to the United States after deportation would be a felony. The idea was to force Mexican immigrants. To an authorized and monitored stream that could be turned on and off at will at ports of entry, and the immigrant who entered the United States outside of bounds of the stream would be a criminal subject to fines, imprisonment, and ultimately deportation. But it was a crime designed to impact Mexican immigrants in particular. Neither the Western agricultural businessmen nor the Restrictionists registered any objections. Congress passed Blisses bill, the Immigration Act of March 4th, 1929, and dramatically altered the story of crime and punishment in the United States with stunning precision. The criminalization of unauthorized. Country caged thousands of Mexicans Mexico's birds of passage by the end of 1930, the US Attorney General reported prosecuting 7000 cases of unlawful entry. By the end of the decade, US attorneys had prosecuted more than 44,000 cases. Now, Bliss's law applied technically to like Canadians as well, but basically everyone prosecuted under it was Mexican, and it was mainly used as kind of a method of non mostly nonviolent ethnic cleansing. Like, I don't even know if I'd say mostly nonviolent. It was used for ethnic cleansing. Throughout the 1930s, Mexicans made-up at least 85% of all immigration prisoners. Sometimes. Some years they made-up 99%. Three new prisons were built on the border to hold them all. And over the course of the decade, somewhere around 1,000,000 Mexicans were deported from the United States and most of these people were U.S. citizens. Historian Francisco Balderrama argues that 60% of the million people who were deported were U.S. citizens of Mexican descent. And Border Patrol forces would call the what was happening here repatriation, to make it seem voluntary. But what was really happening in the 30s was Border Patrol was just rounding up all of the Mexicans they could get and throwing them across the border and kind of. Accusing people of unlawful like crossing of the border basically as a justification for for kicking them out. So that's cool, I just the the resources that get used and spent to. Like, enforce these laws and build prisons and maintain the prison and just like all all of that. Cost so much time and is so much effort. Why like it would be so much easier? If we would just let immigrants come and then just let them live and be a part of the community. What? I mean, I know why? Because, yeah. Racism. Yeah. Yeah, but it's absurd. Yeah, the Border Patrol's pretty lame, Caitlin. You know, this is like, but like this. This is what it is from the beginning, like. One of the first things the Border Patrol ever does is deport a million people, more than half of whom are U.S. citizens. And it just lies about what it's doing because it's from the beginning. Its job has never been to actually enforce the rule of law or even protect the border. It's job is to protect whiteness, right? Yep. So the very the primary method of action for Border Patrol agents from the beginning up to now was violence. The force was always undermanned and underfunded with a handful of officers. Responsible for thousands of miles of rugged terrain, there was little to no oversight, and agents generally used violence at their discretion, as this anecdote from the book migra illustrates. Quote one day in 1928, explained Stovall, who was a Border Patrol agent. He was patrolling alone near San Elizario, TX when he decided to drive through town. San Elizario was this little Mexican town on the Rio Grande, said Stovall, who remembered that when he got to town that day, he saw a Mexicano come out from behind the Bank of a drainage ditch and then duck back. Stovall admitted to knowing the man. But. Stopped the car and asked him. What do you have there in your bosom? The man reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out two bottles of beer and put them down on the bridge and broke them, so we wouldn't have any evidence reflecting upon the incident. Stovall wondered. Why didn't I pull out my gun and fire at that Mexican? I don't know. I don't know why. Instead of reaching for his gun and firing, Stovall fled. I got in my car and got away from there, remembered Stovall. Because it was in daylight, about 1:00, o'clock. If I had pulled my gun and fired, there would have been 50 Mexicans around me that quick, according to Stovall. God spared his life that day by taking charge of his hands and preventing him from shooting at the Mexicano. So this is, this is 1928 and kind of a common attitude. Like this Border Patrol agent approaches a guy who's got illegal alcohol and the dude breaks the bottles on him. And the man's lingering question that he's wondering for years afterwards is why didn't I shoot that man to death? Like, yeah, cool stuff some people think justifies killing another. Person is something I will never comprehend. Yeah, I don't think they thought they were people. True, yeah. And it's it's probably worth noting how common brutality was. Uh, like, like open brutality was among U.S. law enforcement officials, even at like pretty high levels in politics at this time. In May of 1954, Herbert Brownell, the Attorney General, Eisenhower's Attorney general, gave a speech where he asked the US labor leaders for their support in the event that Border Patrol agents, quote, shot ******** in cold blood. So again, not saying, like, hey, we might have an accidental shooting, and I need your support because, like, what we're doing is hard and, you know, people are gonna mess up. He's like, you know, my guys might murder some, some Mexicans. You know, my guys are absolutely going to commit murder in cold blood. And I need you to, like, have my back, right? That's the Attorney General of the United States, 1954. Cool stuff. What else is cool stuff? I don't. Sophie, I can't imagine what you're going for here. What is cool stuff? That's fine, that's fine. I'll just leave. You know who isn't the the Attorney General of the United States. 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Took me 5 minutes to get comfortable with speaker, and when I find a new friend that has an incredible show, I want them to make money. I want them to be able to do what I did. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Get paid to talk about the things you love with spreaker from iheart. So, racism's not good. You know who else isn't good? The head of the Border Patrol in the 1950s. Another good pivot. Nice. Yeah, a great pivot. So the guy in charge of the Border Patrol, as we turned into the 1950s, is an outright monster by the name of Harlan Carter. Now, Carter was, by the time he became the head of the Border Patrol, a convicted murderer. Yeah, in 1931, as a teenager he'd shot a Mexican boy in the chest at point blank range with a 12 gauge shotgun and the two had been having an argument and the Mexican boy had a knife. But he was not actively threatening Carter and in fact he'd laughed at the boys gun because he just kind of seemed to think it was silly that they were having a fight at all. And Carter shot him to death because he was angry for being laughed at. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to three years in prison, but he was let out after two owing to a technicality. So back in 1931, by the way. You could shoot a man in the chest with a 12 gauge and get three years, so that's neat. I love laws. Yeah, I just. So our justice system is cool. Yeah. He got rehabilitated. He went on to become the head of the Border Patrol and also was the head of the NRA. Harlan Carter is an interesting ***** ** ****. So throughout the 40s, uh apprehensions by the Border Patrol were kind of ad hoc and disorganized, and they were mostly the result of individual agents seeking out undocumented immigrants by catching them in transit. This meant that large numbers of people were almost never apprehended at a time. It was more just like agents kind of going out and hunting people down and grabbing a couple of folks. This was an easy system for dumb, violent men to like, figure out, you know, you just kind of it's like hunting, basically. And it appealed to the kind of folks who became Border Patrol agents, but starting in 1950. A young agent named Albert Quillen began to change things. He was intelligent and ambitious, and when the chief supervisor of Border Patrol demanded that he and his colleagues increase apprehensions, Quillen began experimenting with bold new strategies. At 5:00 AM on February 11th, Quillen took a detail of 12 patrolmen with two buses, one plane, one truck, and nine automobiles. The men drove out to a small station in Rio Hondo, TX and then split into two groups to clean as well as possible a certain section of illegal aliens, the plain. Acted as a spotter. While the buses were used to quote haul wets to the border, 100 people were apprehended in short order and they were deported the next day. Quillin soon moved on with his force to a series of farms near Los Fresnos, TX. They found 561 wets, which is again always the term they use for the. Do you understand where that term comes from? I don't know that I actually know the source of it. No. Yeah. So basically the idea is that there were kind of two options for Mexicans at this time. There was the bracero program, which was a program. By which they could kind of enter the country quasi legally and get like legal working rights to to be like a laborer or something like that. And then there was you could just cross the border right, illegally and that usually meant crossing the Rio Grande, which is a river, right. So you wind up wet on the other side of the river. So they call them wet backs like that. That's that's still to this day a racist slang term for particularly Mexicans, but kind of all people of of Hispanic descent and a lot of Texas like you, you hear it a lot from races there. And the Border Patrol, it is their standard term for these people. This is like, on all of their professional documents and everything. This is what they call migrants. Yeah. So Quillens forces catch 561 wets on their second day, and on their third day, they catch 264. On the 4th day, they catch 134. In less than a week, they captured and deported more than 1000 undocumented laborers. And this was, like, unprecedented. The Border Patrol had never caught this many people this quickly. It was seen as an astonishing. Achievement by Quillan superiors and they began setting up other raids in imitation of his Border Patrol supervisors noted that these new task forces, as they started being called, were quote pounding away on these wets cool dudes. Soon multiple task forces had been established throughout California and Texas, carrying out constant raids and netting huge numbers of undocumented persons. On some single days, more than 5000 Mexican nationals would be apprehended and shipped to temporary detention camps before being sent back across the border. Patrolman handed deportees. Notes that read quote you have entered the United States illegally and in violation of the laws of your land and those of the United States. For this reason, you are being returned to your homeland. If you return again illegally, you will be arrested and punished as provided by law. We understand that the life of a wet back is difficult. ******** are unable to work for more than a few hours before they are apprehended and deported. Remember these words and transmit the news to your families and countrymen if you want to do them a favor. So that's fun. Nice letter there. Terrifying language also, you had said. And that that was something that had been and still gets like that language is still used and it's just the most dehumanizing word. Yeah. To refer to simply someone who. Travels to another place. And wants to stay there. It's pretty crazy because we don't use that word for. I don't know us. I'm I'm excited for when we have finally the big civil war that we're we're all planning to have and suddenly a **** load of middle class white people who have always but continue like, yeah, I'm I'm excited for the people who treated Syrian refugees and treat Guatemalan and Honduran and Mexican refugees like ****. And I'm excited for them all to, I don't know get gunned down by Canadian border guards. As we deserve as a nation. I don't know. I'm angry all the time. Caitlin. I'm sorry. That's not right. Likewise, so am I. Yeah. Anyway, it'll be up to Canada to be racist, then, and then eventually Alaska, and then the biosphere will die. So you know what won't die? Caitlin? Raytheon, are you doing a necessary transition? Podcast Do your podcast. I know I went off on a really sad rant and so I decided to throw in a Raytheon ad because everybody likes thinking about Raytheon. So back to the Border Patrol. So the Border Patrol would like pick up all these folks, huge numbers, thousands in a day sometimes, and they would put them in these like temporary camps. And then we would take them into Mexico where the Mexican military would basically dump them in the middle of the country, as far away from the border as possible. And these were generally places where there was no work and where these migrants. No family connections and it was just. A horrible situation for most people as a result of these new tactics, between 1950 and 1953, the number of Border Patrol apprehensions nearly doubled from 469,000 to almost 840,000. This caused immediate problems for ranchers and farmers, who started to realize that the new legal powers they'd given the Border Patrol had vastly realigned the organization's power in a way that allowed the white supremacists to ran it. To harm agribusiness by wiping out their workforce at stake was also a sort of cultural readjustment. Farmers and ranchers were used to occupying a position at the top of society, but now border patrolmen could exercise the power of deportation again and take away their workers and Texas border towns like Marfa farmers hired armed guards, hired lookouts, and booby trapped farm gates in order to protect their workforce. There were gun fights with Border Patrol, with these like white farmers trying to defend their workforce. And as the conflict between the farmers and Border Patrol grew uglier, white border town farmers suddenly found themselves facing off against the same men who'd hunted their workers. The book Migra tells the story of DC Newton, whose family were Border Patrol farmers who posted guards to warn about raids. They went to sleep. They went to sleep one night in 1952 and woke up to find that dozens of Border Patrol agents had snuck in with their headlights off and to surprise everyone sleeping in the farmhouse and adjacent quarters. The Newton's oldest son was faster, though, and he succeeded in warning the undocumented migrant staying on the farm, which gave them the time they needed to run like hell and hide in the trees. When the Border Patrol men came up empty in their search, they went after the white folks. Oct actually owned the farm, and I'm going to quote from the book Migranal. They entered Newton's parents bedroom and began shining the flashlights in my mother's eyes and my father's eyes, telling them to get up. We're going to go out and find where you're Mexicans are. With my father in his pajamas, my mother, his mother in a nightgown, and no one wearing any shoes. The officers forced the family out of the house while pushing, physically pushing my mother in the back, pushing my father in the back, and demanding to know where the wet backs were. Most of the workers had fled, including Newton's nanny, Lupe, for whom the officers claimed to be searching in particular. She had heard the arrival of the patrolman and climbed out of the window on the 2nd floor of the farmhouse, rolled down onto the roof of the garage and run off to the southeast and was gone. Although the Newtons believed they had outsmarted the Border Patrol by alerting the migrants to the raid, the head Border Patrol inspector still LED 53 apprehended workers away, saying, see how you handle your Groves now? Now that's like a bad story and everything, but what's interesting here is, I guess, how horrible Newton's family is here too. Because the interview with him goes on and he makes it clear that when he kind of when his dad explained to him what was happening with the Border Patrol, his dad compared the conflict to the Civil War. And the side that he identified with was not the good side quote. Newton's father believed that by taking away their workers, the damn Yankee Border Patrol were splitting up a household as he explained it to his son. The South Texans protected their homes, their families, their property, and their way of life from the Border Patrol raids. He was the master. The Mexican illegals were equivalent to the black slaves, and together they formed a household, a system of Labor relations. In a world of tightly bound intimacy and inequity, the Border Patrol threatened their household by reducing the farmer's control over Mexico's unsanctioned migrant workers. So, as the Southerners had rebelled against intrusions upon their Labor Relations and plantation lives, the Newton family had to defend itself against the US Border Patrol. Newton's brother took the lesson to heart. When the Border Patrol raided on another night, he stood in the family driveway with a shotgun aimed at the officers, startled by the hostile 12 year old. Quite the officers left the property and returned on another day, so yeah. This is what's happening here is really complicated. Yeah, right. There's an important thing to remember here, which is that even of the, like, White Ranch farm owners who are maybe not in favor of their workforce being sent back to their country of origin, they are still exploiting these workers, these migrant workers and you know. Probably not paying them well, probably not offering them, you know, good. Benefits? No. And probably like keeping them in very primitive living situations, often like little more than a shack. Often like, like, like kind of nightmarish situation like these guys did. These migrants often did live very similarly to slaves, right? And it wasn't quite that bad, but it was bad. And these these farmers are like, the Border Patrol agents want these migrants out because they're racist as ****. And these farmers are also racist as ****. They just want the migrants to stay because it because they can exploit the basis of their power. Exactly right. So again, no one to root for here other than like these migrants. But they seem to mostly get just ****** over by everybody, and that's not fun. Yep. So yeah, it's important to remember that kind of the struggle between Border Patrol and these border farmers in Texas was a struggle between two different groups of white supremacists. And one group of white supremacists was broadly in the right. Because I guess it's it's worse to round up thousands of people in cattle cars and buses and throw them back across the border for no good reason. But there's no one you should be rooting for here. But what's really interesting, what's I find fascinating about this whole conflict, is that these racist plantation owning white border farmers wound up like fighting the Border Patrol by kind of Co opting the language of social justice. Starting in the 1950s, ranchers began to argue that Mexican nationals were being unfairly targeted for deportations. They complained that the buses, planes and trains used to take migrants migrants away were cruel, inhuman and outrageous. Practices trading and human misery. They began to argue that hiring Mexicans was an act of kindness by American ranchers. Mexican laborers deserve the chance to win a better life by working low paid jobs as domestic servants and laborers. The Border Patrol was in fact actually fostering communism by sending these men and women back to the interior of Mexico where they would no doubt live on and miserable poverty and join some leftist guerrilla movement. So. Yeah, because their lives being exploited farmhands in the US is so much better. What? Oh my gosh. Yeah. It's pretty cool how naturally that came to these farmers. Like it? So the Border Patrol obviously didn't listen to the protest against them. They continued to, in their own words, pound away in the Borderlands, raising apprehensions. The increased workload necessary necessitated more men and facilities, and in 1953 the Border Patrol attempted to hire 240 additional officers and made plans to build 2 new detention centers at the lower Rio Grande Valley. This enraged local farmers, and one quote threatened to arm his ******* laborers against the Border Patrol, threatening that there is liable to be a couple of dead Border Patrol. And death threats against patrolmen became a daily occurrence, and farmers in the lower Rio Grande lobbied their congressmen to deny the appropriation request necessary to fund the Newman and facilities. These farmers insisted they weren't lobbying for their own benefit, but for doing we're doing it for migrants who were victims of the patrols. Cheap vindictiveness, a great hunger to rule or ruin, to control, to govern. Anything to carry a point reckless of the consequences to the poor workmen which they heard around us cattle. And they weren't wrong in this. The facility the Border Patrol wanted to build was essentially a concentration camp. Eventually, Congress listened and the appropriation Crest request was denied. So, like the protest of all these guys in Texas worked, the Border Patrol had to send its 240 men back home and canceled construction. According to the book Migra quote, one month after losing the supplemental appropriation, Chief Kelly announced the border patrols withdrawal from the Rio Grande Valley to a new defense line 10 miles to the north of Kingsville, Falfurrias, and Hebbronville. Rather than fight a losing battle in the lower Rio Grande Valley, the Border Patrol decided to pull out of the area because with limited forces. And can best control the wet back invasion as epyllion farther north. It's one of those things, I guess, like, I always kind of debate when you've got like something that is essentially a slurs a slur in an episode of like this, how often to say it. And it's one of those things where I kind of feel like cleaning up the border patrols. Official statements in the matter would be, I don't know, making it seem like they were less of a naked force for white supremacy than they were like, if you, if you, if you replace that with Mexican nationals, that's not really what they're saying, right? Yeah. No, no, that's. Yeah. I mean, that puts you in a pretty tricky position. Yeah, I I don't know. Yeah, they use it a lot. It's the Border Patrol are cool guys, and we're about to hear it used again in another big way. So the men of the Border Patrol did see the immigration of Mexicans into the US as an invasion, and they sought to repel it with military force as kind of that language above, right, referring to it as a defensive line and stuff. Like they're defending whiteness again, and they see the encroachment of these, these undocumented migrants as like an assault on on white blood more than anything else. In 1953, with the rebellion of the Texas ranchers in full swing, Harlan Carter, who's again the murderer who became the head of the Border Patrol, sat down with two USB. Minerals to ask for their help. He wanted the military and the National Guard to assist the Border Patrol in a nationwide purge of undocumented Mexican nationals called Operation Cloudburst. The first step for this would be an anti infiltration campaign to seal the border with the help of 21180 troops. Border Patrol would station soldiers at strategic locations and build several long fences to block areas of heavy traffic. This part of the operation is fairly standard aside from the presence of U.S. troops. Part 2 though would be a containment. Operation, which would involve roadblocks on every major highway from the southwest to the interior of North America. These checkpoints would be used to search vehicles for illegal migrants around the clock. Part Three was the mopping up phase, and this would involve a massive series of raids in northern locations, places far from the border like San Francisco, where groups of migrants were believed to have gathered. Businesses and camps would be raided and the arrested migrants would be airlifted or sent by train to the interior of Mexico. Now again using the military, this was essentially. That he wanted to to bring in the army to carry out a military action to purge the United States of Hispanic people. That that's what the head of Border Patrol is trying to do here. And all of the military guys he talked to are like, this sounds like a great idea. We'd love to help, but it's illegal, right? Posse comitatus means you can't use the army for **** like this. The only way around it is a presidential proclamation, and Dwight Eisenhower was actually initially all on board with issuing that proclamation, but in the end, he kind of. Backed away. And instead, he appointed a General, Joseph swing, to be the new Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and was basically like, we can't use soldiers for this because it's unconstitutional, but I'm going to promote a general to be in charge of the INS, and you figure out a way to do the same thing with the resources Border Patrol has. Like, use your. Yeah, yeah. I still want a military operation to clear out these Hispanic people. I just can't use soldiers. So that's cool. Of grief. Yeah. The mental gymnastics that what these people do to justify their horrible actions. Anyway. Sorry, go ahead. Yeah, it's pretty great. I don't know. So one month after joining INS, General Swing announces that he's going to be leading the Border Patrol in a new paramilitary campaign based on the tactics police pioneered by Albert Quillen. The new operation is given the name Operation ******* again. That's the Border Patrol's official name for it. That's what all these guys call it. That's what it's written up in, in the documents and stuff. She's Louise. Yeah, they just didn't have a **** to give on this matter. So, true to form, Border Patrol was only given four weeks to prepare for what would become the largest operation in their history. The plan was to engage in an unprecedented sweep, deporting hundreds of thousands of people. No one received any training or specialized equipment to actually do this, though. All that most agents had on June 9th, 1954. When the operation began was a letter from general swing order ordering them to purge the nation by removing the huge number of Mexican nationals who are in this country in violation of the immigration laws. Always good to hear about a purge. Yikes. Yeah. So in its first day, California and or in the first day of this operation, California and Arizona agents apprehended nearly 11,000 migrants. The flood of people only accelerated after that, and the sheer number of deportees overwhelmed the Border Patrol's capacity to hold or carry them. People were left in primitive, exposed concentration camps for days. The Border Patrol turned Allegion park in Los Angeles into an open air concentration camp. Yeah, that's Nate. Go to Elysian Park. I've been there before and I'll never go again. A lot of the men who were interned there, men and women, got sick and sometimes died of sunstroke because there was no caregiving to their health and it can get very hot. Down there. 25% of all deportees were transported by boats, many of which were so cramped and filthy that their occupants later compared them to slave ships or penal hell ships, so that's great. The Mexican government's capacity to take and transport all these people broke down almost immediately and they were like, we need you to to not send these people to us so quickly because we can't handle them. And the US government said we don't give a **** and and kept just shotgunning people on over there and the sheer scale of. Deportations began to **** with American industry, but Border Patrol didn't really give a **** about this either. I'm gonna quote again from the book Migra. Between June 17th and July 26th, 1954, twenty 2827 of the 4403 migrants apprehended by task, the task force assigned to the Los Angeles area had worked in industry after Border Patrol raids. During the summer of 1954, three Los Angeles Brickyards were left without sufficient numbers of workers and temporarily closed down their operations. Similarly, Border Patrol officers paid close attention to the hotel and restaurant business, which routinely hired undocumented Mexican immigrants as busboys, kitchen help, waiters, etcetera, officers reported. Apprehending such workers at well known establishments such as the Biltmore Hotel, Beverly Hills Hotel, Hollywood, Roosevelt Hotel, Los Angeles Athletic Club and the Brown Derby. At times the Border Patrol raids created moments of chaos at popular restaurants when migrants attempted to escape by running through the serving area. The raids were public and regularly drew significant attention from the press, and this was part of the point. The reason the Border Patrol focused so much on Los Angeles, unlike raids and big Hollywood locations, is because they were trying to make a point to these like these ranchers who were still fighting them. In South Texas and the the message was, if we're willing to do this **** in a ******* Hollywood, you'd better believe that one day we're gonna come to your ranch and **** you up, right? Like, if we'll do this to the Biltmore, we'll ruin you. Like we don't give a **** where the where? The Border Patrol. And in the end, operation ******* was responsible for the deportations of somewhere between a quarter of a million at the low end and about 1.5 million people at the high end and. You know, at the end of the day, yeah, it kind of ended in retreat by the Border Patrol. Part of this was that around the same time, the US government reformed to the Bracero program, which allowed Mexican nationals to get legal working status in the US and that became much more popular after this time. So a lot of these, these ranchers and farmers started making sure that their workers kind of went through a legal path to gain working status in the United States and some of it was just that, like, there was blowback to this program. It wasn't very popular, all of the massive. Public raids and kind of as a result, Border Patrol apprehensions plummeted. The next year, in 1955, the task forces that had once captured thousands of migrants in a day were disbanded and demobilized, and for a little while it seemed as if the Border Patrol had gone into hibernation. Of course, that Caitlin was not the case. And in Part 2, we're going to talk about the fact that we haven't even talked about any of the worst **** that the Border Patrol gets up to in this episode, because that's how much worse it gets. Ohh yay, can't wait to hear about it. So how are you feeling? I feel pretty terrible. That's good. I love it when people feel terrible. Every I'm always like, I I can't wait to be a guest on behind the ********. And then every time I do it, I'm like, Oh yes, I'm reminded by how horrible people have been to each other. Yes, and you were the one who picked this topic with a text message. Lol. I think the Border Patrol sounds fun. She did. There you are. Katie did not. That did never happen. But yeah, I mean it's good to be informed about these things, so I appreciate learning and being and further informed about it. So I yeah, thank you. Thank you for that. Yep. You're welcome, Caitlin. Thank you for coming on. Is there a places people might be able to find you, listen to you? Ways to support your work? While there certainly are places to do that, starting with, you can follow me personally on Twitter and Instagram at Caitlin Durante. You can also check out my podcast right here on this network. It's called the Bechdel cast. I co-host it with. Jamie Loftus and we talk about the representation of women in film and just film in general, examining it through an intersectional feminist lens. So that is. What we do and you can, uh, yeah, check that out during your front podcast screen writing classes right now. Ohh yes, yes I am. Thank you so much for bringing that up. I also teach screen writing on account of a Masters degree in screen writing that I absolutely hate to mention or ever just bring up, but it does allow me to teach online classes. So if that's of any interest to anyone, go to my website, Slash classes and I usually have new sections coming up, starting soon at any given point. So, and if you want to learn from me, I don't teach screen writing, but I do teach screen writing, which is where you sit down with a pencil and paper and I scream at you and then eventually you give me money to go away. That's sounds very educational, yeah. We all have to have an extra couple of grips. So either pay Caitlin for an actual service or pay me to abuse you. Either way. Don't love that as I don't know. You know what, Sophie? Look, everybody look, you gotta you gotta be mean to the audience, Sophie. You gotta you gotta really kick their ***. I don't know about you. I love them. I appreciate them. Robert you Robert. So kindness. Is there any way in which you think that, like closing out a podcast is similar to making love just to bring things full circle? Wow. Good question. Here's how closing a podcast is like making love. Both of them are inherently disappointing. And. That's the end of the episode that I write. OK, on Twitter. You can follow us at basketball on Twitter and Instagram. We have a tea public store. That's it. Bye. Bye, bye. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. 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