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The “Local” Migration State: The Site‐Specific Devolution of Immigration Enforcement in the U.S. South

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This article examines the implementation of 287(g) authority and Secure Communities by several law enforcement agencies in Wake County and Durham County, North Carolina. I argue that despite being federally supervised programs, 287(g) and Secure Communities take shape within specific political, legal, policing, and biographic contexts, and, as such, take on a site‐specific form. I conclude that although site specificity is a characteristic of devolved immigration enforcement in the U.S. context, devolution also predictably relocates interior immigration enforcement to immigrant populations' spaces of social reproduction. Accordingly, programs like 287(g) and Secure Communities work at a suprasite level to amplify immigrant populations' everyday insecurities.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: The Ohio State University

Publication date: 2012-04-01

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