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Noncitizen detention : spatial strategies of migrant precarity in US immigration and border control.

Martin, Lauren (2015) 'Noncitizen detention : spatial strategies of migrant precarity in US immigration and border control.', Annales de geographie., 702-703 (2/3). pp. 231-247.


The United States Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operates the largest confinement system in the country, no small accomplishment in the world’s largest prison system. This article analyzes the US immigration detention system as a series of spatial strategies through which state officials seek to manage and redirect transboundary migration. I argue that while detention works to confine, segregate, and categorize migrant bodies, detention is also a performance of state power. As such, it produces effects beyond deportation. The article will first outline how immigration detention both relies upon and extends the US criminal justice system to open up spaces of arbitrary administrative discretion. I then draw on my research on noncitizen detention and visitation programs to demonstrate how detention is more than a fixing of bodies in space ; it is a process of isolation, criminalization, and marginalization. I argue that detention cannot be subsumed under or explained by deportation, and that it plays a key role in the production of migrant precarity in current US immigration and border control.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:11 August 2017
Date of first online publication:June 2015
Date first made open access:No date available

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