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Death and Other PenaltiesPhilosophy in a Time of Mass Incarceration$
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Geoffrey Adelsberg, Lisa Guenther, and Scott Zeman

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823265299

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823265299.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 03 August 2021

Sovereignty, Community, and the Incarceration of Immigrants

Sovereignty, Community, and the Incarceration of Immigrants

(p.174) Sovereignty, Community, and the Incarceration of Immigrants
Death and Other Penalties

Matt S. Whitt

Fordham University Press

This chapter examines how the United States increasingly employs its network of jails and prisons as a form of border control. Since the mid-1990s, the United States has shifted its border control strategy from immediate expulsion to punitive detention, and then deportation, of undocumented immigrants. Concurrently, the US has criminalized immigration, treating undocumented entry and residence as threats to the social order. The chapter argues that by punishing undocumented immigration as a crime, the United States performs acts of inclusion, exclusion, and differentiation that neither borders nor prisons can accomplish alone. In so doing, the state reasserts its sovereign prerogative to not merely govern but also constitute the political community—even as traditional frameworks of sovereignty become obsolete. The chapter concludes by suggesting that critics of the criminalization of immigration must also challenge the norm of sovereignty itself.

Keywords:   immigration policy, immigration control, undocumented immigrants, border control, punishment, sovereignty

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