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From Deportation to Prison: The Politics of Immigration Enforcement in Post-Civil Rights America

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Winner, 2017 Oliver Cromwell Cox Book Award A thorough and captivating exploration of how mass incarceration and law and order policies of the past forty years have transformed immigration and border enforcement Criminal prosecutions for immigration offenses have more than doubled over the last two decades, as national debates about immigration and criminal justice reforms b Winner, 2017 Oliver Cromwell Cox Book Award A thorough and captivating exploration of how mass incarceration and law and order policies of the past forty years have transformed immigration and border enforcement Criminal prosecutions for immigration offenses have more than doubled over the last two decades, as national debates about immigration and criminal justice reforms became headline topics. What lies behind this unprecedented increase? From Deportation to Prison unpacks how the incarceration of over two million people in the United States gave impetus to a federal immigration initiative--The Criminal Alien Program (CAP)--designed to purge non-citizens from dangerously overcrowded jails and prisons. Drawing on over a decade of ethnographic and archival research, the findings in this book reveal how the Criminal Alien Program quietly set off a punitive turn in immigration enforcement that has fundamentally altered detention, deportation, and criminal prosecutions for immigration offenses. Patrisia Mac�as-Rojas presents a "street-level" perspective on how this new regime has serious lived implications for the day-to-day actions of Border Patrol agents, local law enforcement, civil and human rights advocates, and for migrants and residents of predominantly Latina/o border communities.


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Winner, 2017 Oliver Cromwell Cox Book Award A thorough and captivating exploration of how mass incarceration and law and order policies of the past forty years have transformed immigration and border enforcement Criminal prosecutions for immigration offenses have more than doubled over the last two decades, as national debates about immigration and criminal justice reforms b Winner, 2017 Oliver Cromwell Cox Book Award A thorough and captivating exploration of how mass incarceration and law and order policies of the past forty years have transformed immigration and border enforcement Criminal prosecutions for immigration offenses have more than doubled over the last two decades, as national debates about immigration and criminal justice reforms became headline topics. What lies behind this unprecedented increase? From Deportation to Prison unpacks how the incarceration of over two million people in the United States gave impetus to a federal immigration initiative--The Criminal Alien Program (CAP)--designed to purge non-citizens from dangerously overcrowded jails and prisons. Drawing on over a decade of ethnographic and archival research, the findings in this book reveal how the Criminal Alien Program quietly set off a punitive turn in immigration enforcement that has fundamentally altered detention, deportation, and criminal prosecutions for immigration offenses. Patrisia Mac�as-Rojas presents a "street-level" perspective on how this new regime has serious lived implications for the day-to-day actions of Border Patrol agents, local law enforcement, civil and human rights advocates, and for migrants and residents of predominantly Latina/o border communities.

47 review for From Deportation to Prison: The Politics of Immigration Enforcement in Post-Civil Rights America

  1. 4 out of 5

    MaryAnn Vega

    An important addition to immigration discourse that updates the traditional natrractives on the illegality of immigration. The author makes an important argument about the shift in federal, state, and policy discourse from illegality to criminality and the expansion of state enforcement as a result. A very necessary read for our current political context.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Roberto Quijano

    The book makes a solid argument about how the increase in deportations coincided with the end of the Civil Rights Movements era whereby in effect minorities acquired greater political and civil liberties. However, the government had other plans to compensate for this change in the status quo. Indeed, these minorities acquired a “full citizenship” status before the law but now they would be crudely targeted by law enforcement agencies in order to serve the newly-adopted “tough on crime” narrative The book makes a solid argument about how the increase in deportations coincided with the end of the Civil Rights Movements era whereby in effect minorities acquired greater political and civil liberties. However, the government had other plans to compensate for this change in the status quo. Indeed, these minorities acquired a “full citizenship” status before the law but now they would be crudely targeted by law enforcement agencies in order to serve the newly-adopted “tough on crime” narrative. It could be said that the zero-tolerance approach to criminality was one of the main causes of mass deportations. Particularly, an externality of this new phase was prison overcrowding due to mass incarceration. In this sense, emptying prisons was a fundamental task in order to free space for other future inmates. Specifically, the government targeted noncitizens with convictions for deportation. This social group was the perfect scapegoat for freeing up prisons since they were not US citizens and the State had no obligations to them. Thus, the immigration problem cannot be fully understood without considering the incarceration hysteria. The “freeing beds” argument for the rapidly expanding prison system is one of the many arguments the political system used to justify these mass deportation efforts. Nonetheless, this immigration-incarceration dilemma is an unintended consequence of the market system that opted for deregulation and neoliberal policies. Particularly, the Arizona-Sonora relationship helps to explain the current status quo of immigration, economics and incarceration. Particularly, Arizona in the 80s and 90s served as a microcosm of what the entire United States would become in subsequent years in terms of economics, immigration and incarceration policies. Essentially, it was a laboratory given its close relationship to the neighboring state of Sonora. In this sense, spending on issues such as border enforcement through the Border Patrol had a great impact on the life of Arizona but specifically its border towns of Douglas and Nogales. Before the immigration scare, border towns such as the aforementioned had close economic and cultural ties, people freely moved from one place to the other. As immigration enforcement increased, this dynamic changed but their interdependence is still present. It was a revelation to me to see how the city councils of both Douglas and Nogales initially opposed the construction of the border walls. Likewise, there was a “positive externality” from border enforcement and this was increased security in border towns; several border residents stated how the Border Patrol assumed some roles that corresponded to local polices. Ironically, border security and human smuggling constitute some of the main sources of income for citizens of Douglas and Nogales (p. 136). Filling the beds with incarcerated Black and Latina women for drug offenses and Arab/Muslim immigrants suspected but not charged with terrorism provided the body counts necessary to justify more funding for wars on crime, illegal immigration, and terrorism (p. 68). The US Attorney’s Office now prosecutes more lo-level immigration cases than drug cases, mostly illegal entry and reentry after deportation (p. 92). In this sense, there is no going back to the status quo ante, spending on immigration enforcement will continue and increase. Proof of this is the efficiency of deportation trials were immigrants lose their undocumented status and become criminal aliens before the law. In the end, people seeking a better life end up being a victim of their own aspirations either before the immigration system or the prison system.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jesus Portillo

    This book does a good job of tracing the history of immigration enforcement and how it has changed from deportation to imprisonment and it's racial overtones. "What is particularly striking about the political origins of the Criminal Alien Program is how the criminal stigma that prosecutorial approaches to migration impose is rooted in anti-Black criminalization. In this way, the criminal status that border agents now have the authority to confer in an immigration context is directly linked to h This book does a good job of tracing the history of immigration enforcement and how it has changed from deportation to imprisonment and it's racial overtones. "What is particularly striking about the political origins of the Criminal Alien Program is how the criminal stigma that prosecutorial approaches to migration impose is rooted in anti-Black criminalization. In this way, the criminal status that border agents now have the authority to confer in an immigration context is directly linked to historical struggles over African American citizenship from slavery and Reconstruction to the Jim Crow and civil rights eras. Michelle Alexander makes this connection clear when she refers to mass incarceration, and the lasting stigma of a conviction, as 'the new Jim Crow.' The durability of criminal stigma is a distinct feature of U.S. republicanism, in part because of deep-seated association of Blackness with criminality."

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ro

    A pretty good look at the way changes in the criminal justice system in the '70s and '80s impacted immigration policy and enforcement, and the impacts of border security in southern Arizona. There was a lot of interesting nitty-gritty policy history, as well as a lot of colorful anecdotes and interviews from on-the-ground research. There is a very clear presentation of how migration was rolled up into an increasingly punitive criminal justice system that has merged with the crisis of mass incarc A pretty good look at the way changes in the criminal justice system in the '70s and '80s impacted immigration policy and enforcement, and the impacts of border security in southern Arizona. There was a lot of interesting nitty-gritty policy history, as well as a lot of colorful anecdotes and interviews from on-the-ground research. There is a very clear presentation of how migration was rolled up into an increasingly punitive criminal justice system that has merged with the crisis of mass incarceration. Overall a very good book, although it would have been even better if there was more high-level statistics and analysis; sometimes it felt like there was some context missing, especially if you are not well-versed in this subject matter already.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    -undertheorized a bit but the research that went into this is absolutely incredible and made it really really interesting -chapter 2 on the relationship between prison expansion and detention expansion is really really interesting.

  6. 5 out of 5

    R

  7. 5 out of 5

    Evelyne Goulet

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nour Hasan

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

  10. 4 out of 5

    Avery Warkentin

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    Hena

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    UIC Office of Diversity

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    Kalliwhowrites

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    Sarah

  46. 5 out of 5

    Nevona Friedman

  47. 5 out of 5

    Monica

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