Consolidating Deterrence through Criminalization and Expulsion
Chapter 6 explores how political crises over migration and crime dovetailed with each other to cement detention into the landscape materially and discursively. Criminal legislation passed from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s repeated the pattern established earlier in Boats, Borders, and Bases: asylum seekers are detained, followed by executive orders and congressional legislation authorizing these practices. Like previous efforts to deter asylum seekers and other unauthorized migrants, criminalization established far-reaching legal and institutional bases for expanding enforcement and detention. As with earlier treatment of “undesirable” Cubans and “bogus” Haitian asylum seekers, the figure of the criminal alien was consolidated through its juxtaposition with notions of legal, good, and contributing refugees and immigrants. As migration and criminal justice policy became more closely entwined, the basis for expanding detention shifted more explicitly from deterrence to a more robust tool of punishment and expulsion.
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