Accepted Paper:

Borders without fences and confinement without walls: the use and experiences of electronic bracelets for migration control  

Author:

Carolina Boe (Université de Paris)

Paper short abstract:

The paper will map some of the larger, complex network of transnational private and public actors who advocate for or against the use of electronic monitoring of migrants and analyze the experience of border control in the most intimate spheres, in homes and on bodies.

Paper long abstract:

The electronic bracelet, developed 40 years ago for the criminal justice system, is often promoted as a cost-effective alternative to immigration detention, by the very same corporations that were central in the expansion of the 'criminal industrial complex' and the 'immigration industrial complex'. Migrants can now be monitored at a distance in their homes, at their jobs or as they move around in public space. At the same time, they are traceable at all times and can quickly be arrested if they disrespect a curfew or if their immigration case amounts to a deportation.

First, the paper will map some of the larger, complex network of transnational private and public actors who advocate for or against the use of electronic monitoring of migrants, with a focus on the political and economic logics which have contributed to the spread of this new technology of confinement and its application to the wrists of increasing numbers of migrants.

Second, based on ethnographic fieldwork among so-called 'criminal deportees' in New York who have experienced electronic tagging, the paper will analyze the ways in which these new technologies of confinement are experienced and embodied, when border control is ensured in the most intimate spheres, in homes and on bodies.

Panel Pol02
Imagining and creating walls, utopias, and co-fragile formations