Borders and Migration

Political detentions, political deportations: Repressive immigration enforcement in times of Trump

During the presidency of Donald Trump, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) targeted migrant justice activists, journalists, and advocates with deportation proceedings. The recent political repression has a revanchist character that appears to be a new pattern introduced by Trump but is part of a longer project of securing the smooth functioning of economic and racial social control in the US. I read the recent political repression of activists in relation to texts produced by radical intellectuals who endured political repression in two prior historical moments: the detention and deportation of radicals in the McCarthy era through the words of C.L.R. James; the policing and imprisonment of Black radicals in the early 1970s through the words of Angela Davis. In a third moment, I situate the recent pattern of Trump-era political repression in a context of ongoing contestation over interior immigration enforcement. The struggle over immigration enforcement is not only about legality, but also about the politics of race and class marginalization in the US.

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Volume 40 Issue 2

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