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Surveying the Many Fronts of the War on Immigrants in Post-9/11 U.S. Society Karim Ismaili, Ph.D. Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology Ryerson.

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Presentation on theme: "Surveying the Many Fronts of the War on Immigrants in Post-9/11 U.S. Society Karim Ismaili, Ph.D. Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology Ryerson."— Presentation transcript:

1 Surveying the Many Fronts of the War on Immigrants in Post-9/11 U.S. Society Karim Ismaili, Ph.D. Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology Ryerson University

2 The Context U.S. Immigration Policy Post 1980s trend towards expansion of legal immigration, even as the general public favored less of it Anti-welfare and anti-immigrant sentiment in the 1990s: State initiatives and Federal legislation George W. Bush as a great hope for comprehensive immigration reform September 11, 2001

3 Let the terrorists among us be warned: if you overstay your visa - even by one day - we will arrest you (Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, October 25, 2001). If somebody is here illegally, weve got to do everything we can to find them…weve got to ensure that those who are caught are returned to their home countries as soon as possible (Former U.S. President George W. Bush, October 18, 2005). Post-9/11

4 The Social Control of Non-Citizens Following the 9/11 Attacks The PENTTBOM Investigation The USA PATRIOT Act Enforcement of immigration orders and existing immigration laws Special Registration Program Homeland Security Delegation of immigration authority [s.287(g)] Operation Liberty Shield and asylum seekers

5 In the immediate aftermath of 9/11 we see: A halt to comprehensive immigration reform The use of immigration law as a proxy for criminal law enforcement State and local governments increasingly involved in criminal and civil immigration matters Significant marginalization of non-citizen Muslim men Immigration policy preoccupied with security and risk management

6 The Expanding War The U.S.-Mexico Border The chaotic and vulnerable border Terrorism and security threats More fences, more surveillance, and more border control agents Punitiveness at the border The immigrant gold rush

7 The Expanding War The Treatment of Asylum Seekers Risk and danger management Credible fear interviews Detention The politicization of federal immigration courts

8 The Expanding War The immigration-crime control nexus Immigration system re-crafted as a criminal justice/enforcement apparatus with dramatic net- widening potential. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Raids to capture and remove different priority categories of non-citizens: criminal aliens, fugitive aliens, violent transnational street gangs. Unauthorized immigrants without criminal histories also drawn in, spreading widespread fear in immigrant communities.

9 The Expanding War Federal workplace raids Farms, factories, meat and food processing plants, labour contractors, employment brokers--disproportionate impact on Hispanic population State and local crackdowns The 1990s re-visited, but this time with more severe consequences

10 Immigrant Detention Immigrants detained (ICE) , ,000 37% in state/county/local facilities 47% in private facilities 16% in ICE facilities Daily detention (ICE) 19946, , ,500

11 Deportation Deportations (ICE) , *277,000 *Includes 18,000 fugitive aliens, and 95,000 criminal aliens serving time in U.S. prisons. ICE estimates that at least 10% of the current U.S. prison population is eligible for deportation (ICE puts the number at 304,000). Federal spending on detention and removal (ICE) billion billion

12 The Politics of Immigration Reform ( ) Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act (2007) Failed to get enough support from U.S. Senate to permit a vote on the bill (sponsored by Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) with support of President Bush). Path to citizenship with touchback provision (apply for green card in home country), guest worker program, border enforcement. Significance of this initiative is relation to War on Immigrants.

13 Adaptive (responsibilization) and expressive (acting out) responses (Garland, The Culture of Control, 2001). Immigration controls re-inscribe the state at the precise moment that national borders appear less and less relevant (Bosworth and Guild, BJC, 2008). [j]ust as we now see the war on terrorism as requiring a fundamental recasting of American governance, the war on crime has already wrought such a transformation - one which may now be re-legitimized as a tough response to terrorism (Simon, Governing Through Crime, 2007:11).


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