Deathscapes

The Drive to Deport

Deathscapes

The Drive to Deport

Today’s immigration enforcement climate, both at the border and the interior, has resulted in the massive detention, incarceration, and deportation of immigrants. ICE’s stated objective has been to remove all removable aliens from the United States (there are approximately 11 million undocumented migrants residing in country). While this goal is unrealistic, the number of removals, that is, official deportations, has gone up significantly in the post-9/11 period, part of a steep upward trend that began in the 1990s. In fiscal year 2012, at the highpoint of deportations, ICE removed 409,849 noncitizens from the United States. This compares to 189,026 in 2001 and only 50,924 in 1995.

Importantly, ICE’s deportation practices amount to a form of racial governance, functioning as mechanisms for managing the conduct of somatically different, and putatively “unruly,” populations. The populations most affected by the current deportation drive are Mexicans and Central Americas. Over the past decade, nationals from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador have consistently been at the top of the deportation charts. In 2016, for example, these nations accounted for 94 per cent of all removals, with Mexico constituting the largest share at 64 per cent.

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Total removals as reported in
Total removals as reported in Fiscal Year 2016 ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations Report.

 

Removal by country of citizenship
Removal by country of citizenship as reported in Fiscal Year 2017 ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations Report.


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