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When control attempts to escape the border

Nov 21, 2012, 2pm-3:30pm

Liette Gilbert of York University will deliver the talk, "When Control Attempts to Escape the Border…"  In the recent years, local anti-immigration actions have emerged as a reaction to the perceived apathy of the national government to control “illegal” immigration and to secure national borders. Yet, such ordinances are paradoxically inscribed as the extension of the same security regime increasingly criminalizing immigrants. By localizing immigration enforcement efforts at the level of municipalities and neighborhoods, anti-immigration measures attempted to control the everyday practices of undocumented immigrants rather than “fixing” the processes and policies of undocumented immigration (which they have no jurisdiction over).

"My presentation examines the reliance of municipal anti-immigration ordinances in the United States on the concept of 'public nuisance', and the particular reference of undocumented immigrants as 'public nuisance' to criminalize immigrants," says Gilbert. "The legal concept of public nuisance has been generally used to describe an activity that unreasonably harm or interfere with the rights of the general public. By using the concept of 'public nuisance', advocates for tightening US immigration laws have increasingly looked to local legal powers to control, deter and repel immigrants from their jurisdictions."

 While such role largely exceeds the capacity and competence of local police to enforce civil immigration violations (usually reserved to federal authorities), it nevertheless constitutes yet another strategies to criminalize civil offenses to immigration (such as “illegal” entry), he says. While a court decision has ruled on the constitutionality of such ordinances, and found that it is a violation of police power, the use of “nuisance” in anti-immigration ordinances conflates criminal and civil violations, national and local sovereignties, preemptive security and anti-immigrant discrimination.


Location:764 York Research Tower
Sponsor:YCISS
Posted by:Chris Hendershot
Web Sitehttp://yciss.info.yorku.ca/files/2012/06/Gilbert.jpg
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