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The Post-Deportation Desperation and Refunneling of Aspirations of the Mexicans Deported from the United States

Agnieszka Radziwinowiczówna

Aspirations in the Age of Deportation and Deterrence What do people aspire to after they are deported? They often want to go back, especially if they have left behind their families, jobs, and other obligations. In 2010, six in ten deported

Open access

Deportability and spirituality in a hostile environment

An intersubjective perspective

Anna Waldstein

The United Kingdom’s ‘hostile environment for immigrants’ is having distressing effects on people of African Caribbean heritage, especially those who have been threatened with deportation. While some research demonstrates a strong connection between the threat of deportation (deportability) and abjection, deportable migrants may also develop strategies (e.g. religious participation) to work around state controls. Jamaican family relations and spiritual practices emphasise intersubjectivity. This paper presents intersubjective ethnographic work conducted with a (formerly) deportable research partner, among Jamaican‐born Rastafari men who migrated to the UK in the 1990s as young adults. Restrictions against working during deportation appeals leave Rastafari men with the options of idleness, odd jobs in the informal economy or crime (typically selling drugs). Rastafari men find the discipline required to survive deportability through spirituality and engage in a variety of bodily rituals to generate positive energies, which help them remain calm and healthy. Vigilant attention to manners and dress are essential to raising social (and financial) capital on the road. The case of Rastafari migrants in the UK reveals a need for further expansion of ethnographic research into hostile environments from intersubjective perspectives that explore spirituality and deportability in diaspora families.

Open access

The uncomfortable truth about luck: reflections on getting access to the Spanish state deportation field

Barak Kalir

Methodological accounts often deliberately omit the role that luck plays in getting access to challenging research sites. Indeed, it sounds unprofessional and feels unsatisfying to attribute luck to our work. ‘I hope to get lucky’ will not go down well with most supervisors or as part of any grant proposal. We should, however, consider that luck literally stands for the probability that certain events might take place under certain circumstances. Reflecting on our luck can therefore help us to expound important features that structure the probability of getting access. In my case, getting access to the Spanish state deportation regime could never be anticipated or secured simply in line with the importance of my project or my academic credentials. Obtaining formal approval from the Spanish authorities proved to be impossible, but I eventually achieved access in a messy way that involved many informal interactions and much uncertainty. Accounting for my months‐long attempts, I show how luck sensitised me to officials’ ample discretionary power and pervasive sense of impunity in producing an image of ‘the state’ as unpredictable and opaque. This image induced the strong sensation that my fieldwork crucially depended on the whims of particular officials.

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State desertion and “out-of-procedure” asylum seekers in the Netherlands

Barak Kalir

categorization as deportable subjects renders encounters with the police risky, as these can lead to arrests and attempts to deport them. Many OOPSs who spent weeks or even months in Dutch detention centers were eventually released onto the streets, as they could

Open access

Two Models of the Sanctuary City

Michael Blake

. The modern use of sanctuary as a political concept is often taken to begin with churches such as Reverend John Fife's Southside Presbyterian Church. Fife opened his church's building in the early 1980s for migrants facing deportation to Central America

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Enforcing Apartheid?

The Politics of “Intolerability” in the Danish Migration and Integration Regimes

Julia Suárez-Krabbe and Annika Lindberg

seekers’ human rights “to their limits” (Inger Støjberg, quoted in Olsen 2016 ), framing human rights conventions as privileges and not as absolute bottom lines. This article takes the Danish deportation centers as an example of how hostile environments

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The Draconian Governance of Illegalized Migrants in Western States

Barak Kalir

) complied with administrative requirements set by Western countries, end up being subjected to police raids, lengthy detention periods, family separation, and deportation to life-threatening places? How can thousands of people drown each year in the

Open access

Sanctuary in Countries of Origin

A Transnational Perspective

Alexandra Délano Alonso

Mexico's southern border into an extension of the United States’ border enforcement and deportation strategies since 2014 (see also the special section on Transit Migration in Migration and Society , 2020). This program resulted in hundreds of thousands

Open access

Forced-Voluntary Return

An Intersectional Approach to Exploring “Voluntary” Return in Toronto, Canada

Tanya Aberman

Conceptualizations of return migration frequently position it as binary—either voluntary or forced (through deportation)—which offers a narrow picture of migrants’ motivations, agency, and actions. However, scholars have increasingly argued that

Open access

The absent presence of the deportation apparatus

Methodological challenges in the production of knowledge on immigration detention

Jukka Könönen

Due to the difficulties in accessing detention facilities, the discussion on immigration detention often draws on limited empirical data with varying degrees of attention paid to the heterogeneity of the detained population and their different stakes in an impending removal. Although a closed institution, various legal and administrative processes related to the enforcement of immigration decisions render immigration detention a relational field. Drawing on my fieldwork experiences while conducting multi‐sited ethnographic research on the immigration detention system in Finland, I discuss how methodological choices, theoretical presuppositions and circumstantial factors affect the production of knowledge on immigration detention. I address the relevance of: 1) the case selection among detainees with considerably varying immigration histories, social situations and detention times; 2) a multi‐sited research setting to conceive the various processes of immigration enforcement during detention; 3) an engaged research strategy to access detainees’ first‐hand knowledge of their immigration cases beyond dramatic representations; and 4) the employment of administrative data in contextualising empirical findings. I argue for the importance of examining detainees’ negotiations with the deportation apparatus, which shapes available options for detainees as well as determines the outcome of detention from the ‘outside’, despite its absence in everyday life in detention.