Immigration Policing and the Politics of Time

Authors: Geoffrey Alan Boyce*, Earlham College
Topics: Immigration/Transnationalism, Political Geography, Social Theory
Keywords: immigration, policing, borders
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: Virginia A, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Immigration is commonly measured and conceptualized as a spatial phenomenon, defined by the biographical fact of a person’s having migrated across a nation-state border. This paper departs from such a spatial reading to attend to the temporal qualities of immigration and of immigration policing. From the elongation of trans-border migration routes, to the imposition of post-apprehension criminal prosecution and prison time, to the measurement of the duration of a person’s territorial presence as a means to streamline their deportation, the paper argues that the politics of time play an increasingly prominent role in efforts to police and control immigrant persons and populations in the United States and beyond. Furthermore, the paper argues that appreciation for the politics of time can open new terrain for contesting increasingly racist and draconian immigration policies, while valorizing already-existing measures of resistance and survival.

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