Re-Immigration after Deportation: Family, Gender, and the Decision to Make a Second Attempt to Enter the U.S.

Re-Immigration after Deportation: Family, Gender, and the Decision to Make a Second Attempt to Enter the U.S.

Re-Immigration after Deportation: Family, Gender, and the Decision to Make a Second Attempt to Enter the U.S.

Re-Immigration after Deportation: Family, Gender, and the Decision to Make a Second Attempt to Enter the U.S.

Synopsis

Molina follows the journey of 70 deported migrant women and men as they consider further migration while staying in a migrant shelter located at the U.S.-Mexico border. She shows the complex ways in which gender and family shape further migration intentions. One unexpected development was the large presence of permanent U.S. settlers in the sample. Of the 70 respondents, 29 were residing in the U.S. when they were apprehended. Desperate for family reunification, the majority of these respondents intended to cross again, despite dangerous crossings of the Arizona-Sonora desert, multiple apprehensions, and mistreatment by U.S. authorities.

Excerpt

Few issues in the U.S. are as politically charged or divisive as unauthorized migration. Over the past thirty years, the U.S. has shifted its immigration policies to ratchet up border and interior enforcement, criminalize migration, and deport ever greater numbers and more diverse categories of migrants (Peutz and De Genova 2010). The result is that since 2009, deportations have reached record numbers with an annual average of nearly 400,000, about double the annual average from 2001, while apprehensions by the U.S. Border Patrol have declined more than 70 percent from 1.2 million in 2005 to 340,000 in 2011 (Lopez, Gonzalez-Barrera, and Motel 2011). While immigration and border enforcement policies have grown more punitive, the politics behind these policies are not necessarily cohesive and functional, although the socio-cultural politics of fear certainly dominate in the struggle (Heyman 2012). However, the sum of strengthening immigration enforcement is that deportation is increasingly utilized as a mechanism of state control and dominant notions of sovereignty, citizenship, and national identity take shape (Peutz and De Genova 2010).

Despite the rise in deportations and the criminalization of migration, revisions to dominant notions of citizenship may be on the horizon. The Pew Hispanic Center has described the Latino electorate as an “awakened giant” that is likely to double in size within a generation (Taylor et al., 2012). While there is wide disapproval among Latinos for the increased deportations under the Obama . . .

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