The Parallels between Mass Incarceration and Mass Deportation: An Intersectional Analysis of State Repression
Keywords:Global capitalism, neoliberalism, deportation, incarceration, crisis, politics of fear, intersectionality
In the spring of 2014, President Obama’s administration reached a landmark of over 2 million deportations—more in under six years than the sum total of all deportations prior to 1997. Mass deportation has not affected all communities equally: the vast majority of deportees are Latin American and Caribbean men. Today, nearly 90 percent of deportees are men, and over 97 percent of deportees are Latin American or Caribbean. This article explores the global context under which mass deportation has occurred and draws parallels with mass incarceration. Whereas other scholars have characterized mass deportation as a tool of social or migration control, this article argues that mass deportation is best understood as a racialized and gendered tool of state repression implemented in a time of crisis. I argue that the confluence of four factors has created the conditions of possibility for mass deportation from the United States: (1) nearly all deportees are Latin American and Caribbean men; (2) the rise of a politics of fear in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11th; (3) the global financial crisis; and (4) the utility of deportees
Alexander, Michelle. 2010. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New York: New Press.
Anderson, Bridget, Matthew J. Gibney, and Emanuela Paoletti. 2013. The Social, Political, and Historical Contours of Deportation. New York: Springer.
Applied Research Center, 2011. “Shattered Families: The Perilous Intersection of Immigration Enforcement and the Child Welfare System,” November. Online at: https://www.raceforward.org/research/reports/shattered-families Retrieved March 22, 2016.
Armenta, Amada. 2012. “From Sheriff’s Deputies to Immigration Officers: Screening Immigrant Status in a Tennessee Jail.” Law and Policy 34(2): 191-210.
Bloch, Alice, and Liza Schuster. 2005. “At the Extremes of Exclusion: Deportation, Detention and Dispersal.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 28(3): 491–512.
Boehme, Eric. 2011. “Recession and the Risks of Illegality: Governing the Undocumented in the United States.” New Political Science 33(4): 541–554.
Bosworth, Mary. 2011. “Deportation, Detention and Foreign-national Prisoners in England and Wales.” Citizenship Studies 15(5): 583–595.
Boyle, Kevin. 2001. "The Ruins of Detroit: Exploring the urban crisis in the motor city." The Michigan Historical Review 27(1): 109-127.
Brotherton, David, and Luis Barrios. 2011. Banished to the Homeland: Dominican Deportees and Their Stories of Exile. New York: Columbia University Press.
Carson, Bethany and Eleana Diaz. 2015. “Payoff: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigration Detention Quota” Grassroots Leadership. Retrieved Accessed August 17, 2015. (http://www.immigrantjustice.org/sites/immigrantjustice.org/files/GrassrootsLeadershipBedQuota2015.pdf)
Chavez, Leo. 2013. The Latino Threat: Constructing Immigrants, Citizens, and the Nation. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.
Christian, Johnna, and Shenique S. Thomas. (2009) “Examining the Intersections of Race, Gender, and Mass Imprisonment” Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice 7 (1): 69-84.
Coleman, Matthew. 2012. “The “Local” Migration State: The Site-Specific Devolution of Immigration Enforcement in the U.S. South.” Law and Policy 34(2): 159-190.
Collins, Patricia Hill. 2004. Black Sexual Politics Routledge: New York.
Collyer, Michael. 2012. “Deportation and the Micropolitics of Exclusion: The Rise of Removals from the UK to Sri Lanka.” Geopolitics 17(2): 276–292.
Comfort, Megan. 2007. “Punishment Beyond the Legal Offender.” Annual Review of Law and Social Science 3(1): 271–296. doi:10.1146/annurev.lawsocsci.3.081806.112829
Coutin, Susan B. 2010. “Confined Within: National Territories as Zones of Confinement.” Political Geography 29(4): 200-208.
De Genova, Nicholas. 2005. Working the Boundaries: Race, Space, and “Illegality” in Mexican Chicago. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.
Eitle, David, and John Taylor. 2008. "Are Hispanics the new ‘Threat’? Minority group threat and fear of crime in Miami-Dade County." Social science research 37(4): 1102-1115.
Farley, Reynolds, Sheldon Danziger, and Harry J. Holzer. 2000. Detroit divided. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Foster, Holly, and John Hagan. "The mass incarceration of parents in America: Issues of race/ethnicity, collateral damage to children, and prisoner reentry.” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 623(1): 179-194.
Fragomen, Austin T. 1997. “The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996: An Overview.” International Migration Review 31(2): 438-460.
Gibney, Matthew J. 2008. “Asylum and the Expansion of Deportation in the United Kingdom.” Government and Opposition 43(2): 146–167.
Gilmore, Ruth. 2007. Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis and Opposition in Globalizing California. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Golash-Boza, Tanya. 2012. Immigration Nation: Raids, Detentions and Deportations in Post-911 America. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers.
______. 2015. Deported: Immigrant Policing, Disposable Labor and Global Capitalism New York University Press: New York.
Golash-Boza, Tanya, and Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo. 2013. “Latino Immigrant Men and the Deportation Crisis: A Gendered Racial Removal Program.” Latino Studies 11(3): 271-292.
Gonzales, Alberto. 2013. Reform without Justice: Latino Migrant Politics and the Homeland Security State. New York: Oxford University Press.
Hagan, Jacqueline, Karl Eschbach, and Nestor Rodriguez. 2008. “U.S. Deportation Policy, Family Separation, and Circular Migration.” International Migration Review 42(1): 62-88.
Harvey, David. 2005. A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Headley, Bernard, Michael Gordon, and Andrew MacIntosh. 2005. Deported: Entry and Exit Findings. Jamaica: Stephenson Litho Press.
Hernández, David Manuel. 2008. “Pursuant to deportation: Latinos and immigrant detention.” Latino Studies 6(1): 35-63.
Kanstroom, Daniel. 2007. Deportation Nation: Outsiders in American History. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Kanstroom, Daniel. 2012. Aftermath: Deportation Law and the New American Diaspora. New York: Oxford University Press.
King, Ryan D., Michael Massoglia, and Christopher Uggen. 2012. “Employment and Exile: U.S. Criminal Deportations, 1908–2005.” American Journal of Sociology 117: 1786–1825.
Kodras, Janet .E. 1997. The changing map of American poverty in an era of economic restructuring and political realignment. Economic Geography 73(1): 67-93.
Kretsedemas, Philip. 2012. The Immigration Crucible: Transforming Race, Nation and the Limits of the Law. New York: Columbia University Press.
Lee, Cheol-Sung. 2005. "International migration, deindustrialization and union decline in 16 affluent OECD countries, 1962–1997." Social Forces 84(1): 71-88.
Louie, Miriam. 2001. Sweatshop Warriors. Boston: South End Press.
Massey, Douglas, Jorge Durand, and Nolan J. Malone. 2002. Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: Mexican Immigration in an Era of Economic Integration. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Mendelberg, Tali. 1997. “Executing Hortons: Racial Crime in the 1988 Presidential Campaign” Public Opinion Quarterly 61(1): 134-157.
Milkman, Ruth. 1997. Farewell to the Factory: Auto Workers in the Late Twentieth Century. University of California Press: Berkeley.
Murakawa, Naomi. 2014. The First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison America Oxford University Press: New York.
Naber, Nadine. 2006. "The Rules of Forced Engagement Race, Gender, and the Culture of Fear among Arab Immigrants in San Francisco Post-9/11." Cultural Dynamics 18(3): 235-267.
Nopper, Tamara. 2008. Why Black Immigrants Matter: Refocusing the Discussion on Racism and Immigration Enforcement. Keeping out the other: A critical introduction to immigration enforcement today. New York: Columbia University Press.
Passel, Jeffrey and D’Vera Cohn. 2009. “A Portrait of Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States” Pew Research Center: Washington, DC. Retrieved 2/26/16 (http://www.pewhispanic.org/files/reports/107.pdf)
Pettit, Becky, and Bruce Western. 2004. "Mass imprisonment and the life course: Race and class inequality in US incarceration." American Sociological Review 69(2): 151-169.
Quinsaat, Sharon Madriaga. 2011. “Everybody Around Here is from Some Place Else”: News Frames and Hegemonic Discourses in the Immigration Debates in the United States, 2006 and 2010.” M.A. Thesis. University of Pittsburgh, 2011.
Robinson, William I. 2012. "Global capitalism theory and the emergence of transnational elites." Critical Sociology 38(3): 349-363.
______. 2014. Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Humanity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Rosenblum, Mark and Kristen McCabe. 2014. Deportation and Discretion: Reviewing the Record and Options for Change Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute.
Russell-Brown, Katheryn. 1998. The color of crime: Racial hoaxes, white fear, black protectionism, police harassment, and other macroaggressions. New York: NYU Press.
Santa Ana, Otto. 2002. Brown Tide Rising: Metaphors of Latinos in Contemporary American Public Discourse. Austin: University of Texas Press.
Sassen, Saskia. 1989. “America's ‘Immigration Problem.” World Policy 6(4): 811–832.
______. 1998. "Notes on the Incorporation of Third World Women into Wage Labor through Immigration and Offshore Production." Pp. 111-34 in Globalization and Its Discontents, Edited by S. Sassen. New York: The New Press.
______. 2014. Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy. Harvard University Press.
Singer, Audrey. 2012. “Investing in the Human Capital of Immigrants: Strengthening Regional Economies.” Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution. Retrieved October 20, 2014 (http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2012/09/20-immigrants-human-capital-singer)
Siulc, Nina. 2009. Unwelcome citizens, criminalized migrants, and the quest for freedom: Deportees in the Dominican Republic. New York University, PhD Dissertation, Anthropology.
Stumpf, Juliet. 2006. “The Crimmigration Crisis: Immigrants, Crime, and Sovereign Power.” American University Law Review 56: 367.
Sugrue, Thomas J. 2014. The origins of the urban crisis: Race and inequality in postwar Detroit. Princeton University Press.
Thompson, Heather Ann. 2010. "Why Mass Incarceration Matters: Rethinking crisis, decline, and transformation in postwar American history." The Journal of American History 97(3): 703-734.
Tonry, Michael. 2011. Punishing Race: A Continuing American Dilemma. New York: Oxford University Press.
United Nations. 2016. “Trends in International Migration, 2015” Retrieved February 23, 2016 (http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/migration/publications/populationfacts/docs/MigrationPopFacts20154.pdf)
U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 2012. U.S. ICE “Deportation of Parents of U.S.-Born Citizens: Fiscal Year 2011 Report to Congress.” Retrieved September 28, 2012 (http://www.lirs.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/ICE-DEPORT-OF-PARENTS-OF-US-CIT-FY-2011.pdf)
Wacquant, Loic. 2001. “Deadly Symbiosis: When Ghetto and Prison Meet and Mesh.” Punishment and Society 3(1): 95-133.
______. 2009. Punishing the poor: The neoliberal government of social insecurity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Western, Bruce. 2006. Punishment and Inequality in America. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Wilson, William J. 1996. “When Work Disappears.” Political Science Quarterly 111(4): 567-595.
Wood, Phillip J. 2007. "Globalization and Prison Privatization: Why Are Most of the World’s For‐Profit Adult Prisons to Be Found in the American South?" International Political Sociology 1.3: 222-239.
Zilberg, Elana. 2004. “Fools Banished from the Kingdom: Remapping Geographies of Gang Violence between the Americas (Los Angeles and San Salvador).” American Quarterly 56(3): 759-779.
How to Cite
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- The Author retains copyright in the Work, where the term “Work” shall include all digital objects that may result in subsequent electronic publication or distribution.
- Upon acceptance of the Work, the author shall grant to the Publisher the right of first publication of the Work.
- The Author shall grant to the Publisher and its agents the nonexclusive perpetual right and license to publish, archive, and make accessible the Work in whole or in part in all forms of media now or hereafter known under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License or its equivalent, which, for the avoidance of doubt, allows others to copy, distribute, and transmit the Work under the following conditions:
- Attribution—other users must attribute the Work in the manner specified by the author as indicated on the journal Web site;
- The Author is able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the nonexclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the Work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), as long as there is provided in the document an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post online a prepublication manuscript (but not the Publisher’s final formatted PDF version of the Work) in institutional repositories or on their Websites prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work. Any such posting made before acceptance and publication of the Work shall be updated upon publication to include a reference to the Publisher-assigned DOI (Digital Object Identifier) and a link to the online abstract for the final published Work in the Journal.
- Upon Publisher’s request, the Author agrees to furnish promptly to Publisher, at the Author’s own expense, written evidence of the permissions, licenses, and consents for use of third-party material included within the Work, except as determined by Publisher to be covered by the principles of Fair Use.
- The Author represents and warrants that:
- the Work is the Author’s original work;
- the Author has not transferred, and will not transfer, exclusive rights in the Work to any third party;
- the Work is not pending review or under consideration by another publisher;
- the Work has not previously been published;
- the Work contains no misrepresentation or infringement of the Work or property of other authors or third parties; and
- the Work contains no libel, invasion of privacy, or other unlawful matter.
- The Author agrees to indemnify and hold Publisher harmless from Author’s breach of the representations and warranties contained in Paragraph 6 above, as well as any claim or proceeding relating to Publisher’s use and publication of any content contained in the Work, including third-party content.
Revised 7/16/2018. Revision Description: Removed outdated link.