Academic journal article Refuge

Differential Criminalization under Operation Streamline: Challenges to Freedom of Movement and Humanitarian Aid Provision in the Mexico-US Borderlands

Academic journal article Refuge

Differential Criminalization under Operation Streamline: Challenges to Freedom of Movement and Humanitarian Aid Provision in the Mexico-US Borderlands

Article excerpt

Abstract

On January 14, 2008, under the wider program of the Arizona Denial Prosecution Initiative, Operation Streamline was put into effect in the Tucson Sector of the Mexico-US borderlands. Initially implemented in Del Rio, Texas, this program--aimed at mass incarceration of undocumented persons to reduce repeated migration attempts--has been most rigorously applied in the Tucson Sector, known as both the busiest and deadliest corridor for migration. Every day approximately seventy migrants are apprehended by the US Border Patrol and then sentenced for up to 180 days imprisonment. I consider Operation Streamline and its impacts on undocumented migrants through the lens of local organizing, particularly by the humanitarian aid group No More Deaths, asserting that such policies--which further militarize the border and justify criminalization of migrants in the public eye--put bodies at greater risk, even before they are prosecuted, through practices of spatial containment that add to the rigours of crossing the Sonoran Desert. In this work I explore the methods in which grassroots humanitarian aid groups apply practices of direct action to challenge such policies and promote freedom of movement.

Resume

Le 14 Janvier 2008, dans le cadre de l'<>, le programme << Operation Streamline >> est entre en vigueur dans le secteur Tucson de la zone frontaliere entre le Mexique et les Etats-Unis. D'abord mis en oeuvre a Del Rio, Texas, ce programme visant l'incarceration massive des sans-papiers afin de reduire les tentatives repetees de migration a ete le plus rigoureusement appliquee dans le secteur Tucson, couloir migratoire ayant la reputation d'etre le plus achalande et le plus meurtrier. Chaquejour, environ soixante-dix migrants sont apprehendes par la US Border Patrol, puis condamnes a un maximum de 180 jours d'emprisonnement. L'auteur considere le programme <> et ses impacts sur les sans-papiers a travers le prisme de l'organisation locale, en particulier du groupe d'aide humanitaire No More Deaths, affirmant que de telles politiques, qui militarisent davantage la frontiere et justifient la criminalisation ales migrants au yeux du grand public, exposent les sans-papiers a un risque accru, avant meme qu'ils soient traduits en justice, a travers des pratiques de confinement spatial qui ajoutent aux rigueurs de la traversee du desert de Sonora. Dans cet article, l'auteur etudie les methodes par lesquelles les groupes d'aide humanitaire populaires font appel a la pratique de l'action directe pour contester ces politiques et promouvoir la liberte de mouvement.

Confining Freedom of Movement within the Tucson Sector

On January 14, 2008, Operation Streamline--under the multi-faceted program of the Arizona Denial Prosecution Initiative (ADPI)--came into effect within the Tucson Sector of the Mexico-US border. Initially implemented in Del Rio, Texas, in 2005, followed by Yuma, Arizona, and then Laredo, Texas, in 2007, this program is being most notably enforced in the 262-mile-wide Tucson Sector of southern Arizona. In a press release reporting on their successes of fiscal year 2008 within the Tucson Sector, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) stated that:

   Under the Arizona Denial Prosecution Initiative, 9,563 illegal
   aliens were successfully prosecuted sending a clear message that
   there will be consequences for entering illegally into Arizona.
   ADPI assures that each defendant prosecuted faces a sentence of up
   to 180 days in jail, a formal removal and a ban on legal re-entry
   to the United States for five years. (1)

I argue that policies such as Operation Streamline work in several ways to deny freedom of movement to those seeking entry into the US without documentation. Further, I assert that in seeking to understand the work that such policies do, it is necessary to consider the spatial implementation and operation of these policies in their efforts to deny freedom of movement to particular populations who are criminalized by their presence within certain spaces. …

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