A New Kind of Company Town

Abstract / Resumen / Resumo

In the 1990s, U.S. government policies of deterrence pushed millions of border crossers into remote areas such as the desert that surrounds Ajo, Arizona. A small town, Ajo lies about 40 miles north of the Mexico border and sits on traditional Hia C-ed O’odham territory. Whereas Ajo had long been a Border Patrol outpost, deterrence policies transformed it into a major hub of activity. In 1989, for instance, there were about 21 Border Patrol Agents stationed at Ajo. By 2012, when a new Border Patrol station was built at a cost of $22 million, the number of agents increased to 500.