Border as a Mobile Technology


Border as a Mobile Technology

The death of Moises Tino Lopez in immigration detention needs to be understood in the context of the pervasive criminalization and heavy policing of immigrants. Over the last few decades, immigrants, particularly those without legal documents, have come to be heavily criminalized in the United States. The main solution to the putative problem of undocumented immigration has traditionally be to militarize the nation’s borders. However, since the late 1990s, political and other authorities have also placed increasing emphasis on the interior policing of the nation. What has happened is that the border, as a regime of security and immigration control, has been deterritorialized and projected into the nation’s interior. As part of this border deterritorialization, certain spaces of everyday life—workplaces, homes, neighborhoods, and a variety of public spaces—have been identified as strategic sites and become subject to intensified policing. As such, numerous locales across the interior of the United States have been turned into border zones of enforcement. The border is thus no longer simply (if it ever really was) a location at the nation’s edge where the regulation of movement takes place, but also a mobile technology—a portable, diffused, and decentered control apparatus interwoven throughout the nation. Indeed, we are in the presence of the border any time and in any space where immigration policing and control takes place.



Below are some stories and videos of border zones of enforcement across the United States:

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrests 3 workers after eating at Michigan restaurant.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

ICE agents arrest father on his way to work.

Los Angeles, California

Man arrested by ICE after dropping off his daughter at school.

Queens, New York

After 37 years as an undocumented immigrant, a Queens, New York man is being deported, leaving family behind.

Fairfax County, Virginia

ICE agents arrest men leaving a church shelter.


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All viewers are respectfully advised that the site contains images of and references to the deaths in custody of Indigenous peoples, Black people and refugees that may cause distress.