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Immigration Law

Prof. Ana Muñiz: Transgressing Borders

Prof. Ana Muñiz, Apr. 22, 2022

"[P]olitical and law enforcement leaders have successfully deployed the specter of supposed violent cross-border criminals and gang members to justify the destruction of land for border militarization.  In my forthcoming book, Borderland Circuitry, I examine how politicians and law enforcement authorities access, interpret, and perform data in such a way as to construct immigrants and U.S.-born people of color as dangerous based on unreliable information gleaned from field interviews and informants. Tracking the evolution of various surveillance-related systems since the 1980s, I uncover how information-sharing partnerships between local police, state and federal law enforcement, and foreign partners collide to create multiple digital borderlands. I cartographically and conceptually map how collaborating law enforcement agencies have deployed digital surveillance technology to expand border control functions beyond U.S. territory, to internalize racialized control into the country’s interior, and to justify land destruction and armament along the U.S.-Mexico border. Just as the border wall is the architecture of white supremacy, my book maps the technological infrastructure-building of white supremacy. In addition to wall contractors, the U.S. government has selected tech contractors — Palantir, Amazon, Booz Allen Hamilton, Northrop Grumman, Dev Technology Group, SRA International, and more — to build digital surveillance systems that will reinforce already existing borders, de-territorialize traditional border control methods, construct new borderlands, and criminalize racial others." - Prof. Ana Muñiz