Geographers Geoff Boyce and Sarah Launius shared insights on a recent paper they co-authored entitled Mortality, Surveillance and the Tertiary “Funnel Effect” on the U.S.-Mexico Border: A Geospatial Modeling of the Geography of Deterrence. It was published in the Journal of Borderlands Studies.
While the current border debate often centers on the merits of a physical border wall or a so-called smart wall, Boyce and Launius point out that past efforts in border surveillance failed technologically and resulted in a vastly increased death rate in migrants crossing the border. They and their co-authors Samuel Norton Chambers and Alicia Dinsmore demonstrated that migrants pursue more perilous routes in an effort to circumvent surveillance towers.
Geoffrey Alan Boyce, Ph.D., is academic director of the Earlham College Border Studies Program based in Tucson, Arizona. Sarah Launius, Ph.D., is an independent geography and development researcher.
They say their article was born out of their long-standing relationship with humanitarian aid group No More Deaths who had asked them for help in analyzing data in their work in the Altar Valley. Their paper was cited in a recent City Lab story entitled The Problem with a Smart Border Wall.
Recorded and produced by Amanda Shauger for 30 Minutes.