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Detention, deportation, devolution and immigrant incapacitation in the US, post 9/11

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In this paper we examine perhaps the most significant shift in US immigration enforcement since the militarisation of the US–Mexico border in the late 1980s and early 1990s – the now decade‐long transformation of immigration enforcement from an outwards‐looking power, located at the territorial margins of the state, into also an inwards‐looking power focused on resident immigrant everydays. In large measure this shift in the geography of immigration policing is due to an unprecedented devolution of a once exclusively federal power to regulate immigration to non‐federal law enforcement agencies operating in non‐border spaces in the post‐9/11 environment. We argue that the result of this shift in the ‘where’ of immigration enforcement amounts to a spatialised tactic of immigrant ‘incapacitation’.
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Document Type: Research Article

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Publication date: 2011-09-01

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