MT Town Called “Potemkin Village” In Antiterror Fight


Havre, Montana, population 9,621, traditionally a lawless western cowboy community, considers itself a front-line town in the battle to secure U.S. borders, says The Nation magazine. Its politicians and businessmen have enthusiastically embraced their town’s new role. It has become a key operational base for Border Patrol sorties; Amtrak trains are boarded by officers looking for noncitizens who lack the paperwork needed to stay in the country legally.

The Nation says that Havre has become a modern-day Potemkin Village “where expensive, resource-intensive Border Patrol activities provide the illusion of counterterrorism effectiveness while mainly netting only tourists who have overstayed their visas, illegal immigrants, from Latin America hopping around the country in search of jobs, and would-be refugees and asylum seekers.” The magazine says that Havre mirrors patterns typical of the nation’s antiterrorism practices.


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