16 March 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Deportations Driven by Race and Socio-Economic Status

The United States 'mobility regime' (yes that is the sociological name I am going to give to the obsession with curbing human migration across politically-constructed borders) has gone too far. See the blog posts by Fash on why you should be worried too — your government can order you for removal even if you are a citizen or permanent resident!

This recent article discusses how the deportation of U.S. citizens and permanent residents is not just a one-of-a-kind case. In all cases of mistaken deportation and removal proceedings, there is one common factor: all the victims were underprivileged. They were either racial and ethnic minorities with less socio-economic status, or suffering from mental health and disabilities. 

It seems as if race, ethnicity and class are now proxy for 'illegal presence' in the United States. I do not see any white American citizen being deported or wrongly held for removal in a detention center. As Attorney Kara Hartzler of the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project of Arizona, stated "The intense pressure on ICE to enforce the nation's immigration laws often leads to the arrest of persons on the basis of race, language, surname or other factors that are unreliable in determining immigration status."

It is downright shameful for the United States, that the mobility regime has a disparate impact on minorities and the poor. That if you cannot afford a lawyer, or do not have proper English communication skills, or suffer from mental disabilities, you are automatically a 'suspect' in your own country, guilty until proven innocent. When did the Fifth Amendment cease to exist?

Immigrants, legal or illegal, are not the enemy but the modus operandi of the mobility regime is largely suspect and should undergo oversight, if not major changes. But that is not about to happen, since the mobility regime only GAINS from rounding up random people and putting them in detention centers. It is their bread and butter, and it is also money in the pockets of corporations that are privatizing prisons and detention centers. Who said illegals took away jobs from Americans? Even perceived "illegal aliens" are helping sustain the prison-industrial complex.

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