Happy Publication Day to THE WALLS HAVE EYES: Surviving Migration in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Petra Molnar, out today from The New Press!

A chilling exposé of the inhumane and lucrative sharpening of borders around the globe through experimental surveillance technology.

In 2022, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced it was training “robot dogs” to help secure the U.S.-Mexico border against migrants. Four-legged machines equipped with cameras and sensors would join a network of drones and automated surveillance towers—nicknamed the “smart wall.” This is part of a worldwide trend: as more people are displaced by war, economic instability, and a warming planet, more countries are turning to AI-driven technology to “manage” the influx.

Based on years of researching borderlands across the world, lawyer and anthropologist Petra Molnar’s The Walls Have Eyes is a truly global story—a dystopian vision turned reality, where your body is your passport and matters of life and death are determined by algorithm. Examining how technology is being deployed by governments on the world’s most vulnerable with little regulation, Molnar also shows us how borders are now big business, with defense contractors and tech start-ups alike scrambling to capture this highly profitable market.

With a foreword by former UN Special Rapporteur E. Tendayi Achiume, The Walls Have Eyes reveals the profound human stakes of the sharpening of borders around the globe, foregrounding the stories of people on the move and the daring forms of resistance that have emerged against the hubris and cruelty of those seeking to use technology to turn human beings into problems to be solved.


“A grave wake-up call.”

—Publishers Weekly

“No other book illuminates the everyday violence of high-tech border technologies like The Walls Have Eyes. Molnar’s powerful storytelling bears witness to the stories of those who are navigating the hostile fault lines of this warming planet and to the machinations of those who profit from the displacement, surveillance, and dehumanization of vulnerable populations.”

—Ruha Benjamin, author of Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code and Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We Want

“An incisive and terrifying look at how militarism, security, and AI create a dystopian present at borders.”

—Reece Jones, author of Nobody is Protected: How the Border Patrol Became the Most Dangerous Police Force in the United States

“The border industrial complex is a billion-dollar business set to grow exponentially over the coming decades. The Walls Have Eyes is a compelling read, but also a warning about the world we’re entering where civilians with brown and Black skin looking for a better life are demonized, targeted, surveilled, and endlessly monitored. This book is a tool of resistance.”

—Antony Loewenstein, independent journalist, filmmaker, and author of The Palestine Laboratory

Petra Molnar is a lawyer and anthropologist specializing in migration and human rights. She co-runs the Refugee Law Lab at York University and is a faculty associate at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. Petra has crossed many borders and worked all over the world including Jordan, Turkey, the Philippines, Kenya, Colombia, Canada, and various parts of Europe. Petra’s work has appeared in the New York Times, Al Jazeera, Wired, The Guardian, and many other outlets. The author of The Walls Have Eyes: Surviving Migration in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, she splits her time between Toronto, New York, and Athens.

Petra is represented by Amanda Orozco and Brenna English-Loeb.

Congratulations Petra!