Historically, constitutional protection for individual migrants in detention and in deportation proceedings have been outweighed by federal concerns over sovereignty, safety and security. Today, the federal government supports its position that the state’s interest in security outweighs the basic liberty interests of immigrants by characterizing migration as a crisis threatening the well-being of the country. This narrative has, in turn, produced a socio-legal environment that produces even more restrictions for entering migrants. This presentation will explore the narratives that the government and the courts have used to uphold an immigration regime that continues its hostility to immigrants and their individual rights.
The last thirty years witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of noncitizens detained in the United States. Individuals detained under immigration laws are held pending adjudication, often mandatorily, and without many basic constitutional protections. Immigrant detention imposes severe burdens on immigrants and their households and levies significant costs to society – financially, as well as in terms of social capital and community well-being. Chiefly due to the difficulty in accessing noncitizens in the process of detention and deportation, this system has largely escaped sociological inquiry. This presentation provides a background for understanding the growth and consequences of detention in the United States. It then presents findings from research based on administrative data, as well as surveys and in-depth interviews, about conditions of confinement and the impact of confinement on detained individuals as well as their families and communities.
From a socio-historical analysis focused on the main immigration and deportation policies in the United States and Chile, it is possible to identify discourses and practices focused on specific migrant groups, strongly determined by their national origins and their ethnic and “racial” characteristics. This presentation focuses on the analysis of the main milestones of the immigrant deportation policy in the United States and Chile, having as an analytical axis the concept of “State Racism”. To do so, we will first delve into the definition of State racism, unraveling the concepts of racism and the national State; in order to subsequently carry out, through a comparative perspective, a brief overview of the main deportation actions and policies adopted by the states of both Chile and the US.
This presentation will compare the ways in which the Chilean and the US Constitution provide protection to immigrants against the detention and removal powers that are enforced by the Administration in order to defend its sovereignty and other interests, such as national security. The presentation will have a practical approach to the subject, taking into consideration some recent jurisprudence of both Supreme Courts, the experience of litigation in these matters and also the current discussion that is taking place at the Chilean Congress in regards to the new immigration act project that is meant to replace the existing law. Finally, it will critically analyze if the protection granted by the Courts to the migrant population is enough to satisfy human rights standards.