Mujeres en el Cruce: Mapping Family Separation/Reunification at a Time of Border (In)Security
AuthorO'Leary, Anna Ochoa
AffiliationUniversity of Arizona, Mexican American Studies and Research Center
KeywordsUnited States. -- Immigration Border Patrol -- Officials and employees -- Mexican-American Border Region
Immigrants -- Mexican-American Border Region
Women migrant labor -- Mexican-American Border Region
Families -- Mexican-American Border Region
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RightsThe MASRC Working Paper Series © The Arizona Board of Regents
Collection InformationThe goal of the Mexican American Studies & Research Center's Working Paper Series is to disseminate recent research on the Mexican American experience. The Center welcomes papers from the social sciences, public policy fields, and the humanities. Areas of particular interest include economic and political participation of Mexican Americans, health, immigration, and education. The Mexican American Studies & Research Center assumes no responsibility for statements or opinions of contributors to its Working Paper Series.
AbstractIn this paper I discuss some of the findings in my study of the encounters between female migrants and immigration enforcement authorities along the U.S.-Mexico border. An objective of the research is to ascertain a more accurate picture of women temporarily suspended in the “intersection” of diametrically opposed processes: immigration enforcement and transnational mobility. Of the many issues that have emerged from this research, family separation is most palpable. This suggests a deeply entrenched relationship between immigration enforcement and the transnationalization of family ties. While this relationship may at first not be obvious, women’s accounts of family separation and family reunification show how, in reconciling these contradictory tendencies, migrant mobility is strengthened, which in turn challenges enforcement measures. In this way, the intersection not only sheds light on how opposing forces (enforcement and mobility) converge but also how each is contingent on the other. This analysis is possible in part through the use of a conceptual intersection of diametrically opposed forces, border enforcement and transnational movement, and thus proves useful in examining the transformative nature of globalized spaces.
Series/Report no.MASRC Working Paper Series; 34
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The Border Enforcement "Funnel Effect": A Material Culture Approach to Border Security on the Arizona-Sonora Border, 2000-PresentWatson, James T.; Soto, Gabriella; Watson, James T.; Montgomery, Lindsay M.; Ferguson, T.J.; Rubio-Goldsmith, Raquel (The University of Arizona., 2018)Nearly two decades have passed since the strategic border security paradigm known as “prevention through deterrence” (PTD) took root in the landscape of Southern Arizona. The aim of PTD was to deter illicit migration by strategically amassing border security forces to funnel migrants into increasingly remote and treacherous territory where they would face increased risk. Indeed, risk was to be the prime factor of deterrence. Thousands of undocumented migrants died attempting to overcome those risks in an outcome known as the “funnel effect,” wherein migration patterns shifted to overcome bypass and overcome border security. 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Over the years while border security has expanded, the evidence associated with migration has shifted in turn reflecting a dialectical engagement between the formal border security apparatus and the informal politics of migrants. While many scholars have studied either border security or the risks faced by migrants, few have looked at their mutual influence over time. This dissertation incorporated a multidisciplinary methodological approach, including ethnography, archival research, archaeology, and GIS technology. These methods allowed me to answer the following questions: What are the social and material effects of border enforcement policy on the ground? How have these changed over the 15 years of concentrated border enforcement in this area, both geographically and in terms of their volume and constitution? What are the stories, the experiences, and the tangible points on the landscape that mark these processes? 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A dialectical approach also highlighted how much more accessible and visible the actions related to the implementation of the United States border security were in relation to those of migrants. Further, the material evidence associated with migration was actively being removed, often as an environmental hazard. Thus, this project also came to encompass questions about the process of historical creation and heritage. Among those who live and work in the borderlands, this contemporary situation was already largely conceptualized in terms of its heritage potential. Will we remember this episode in history as we remember the Berlin Wall, or Japanese internment camps in the United States, as many of the border residents who participated in my project speculated? Certain public land managers along the border anticipated that their heritage future may well be as lands associated with the migration experience, circa the turn of the 21st century. 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What do decaying survival materials dropped by undocumented migrants, decaying migrant bodies in the wilderness, and hundreds of miles of clandestine smuggler trails in one of the most highly secured borderlands in one of the most powerful countries in the world say about power here? On a practical level, the accumulated evidence are read as an indictment of border security, revealing that the building of walls and surveillance structures have not stopped migration, though they have led to increasingly imperiled migrant journeys.
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Bridging Borders: A Rhetoric of Border NarrativesRaisanen, Astrid Lea (The University of Arizona., 2011-05)