P153
Settling in hostile environments: the effects of deportability on migrants and their families

Convenors:
Anna Waldstein (University of Kent)
Barak Kalir (University of Amsterdam)
Stream:
Panels
Location:
SO-F497
Start time:
17 August, 2018 at 9:00
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

What happens to society when deportable people are bound up in social/family networks that consist of settled migrants and citizens? This panel will explore the impacts of deportability on the process of settling in 'hostile environments,' and how this affects citizens, as well as non-citizens. ​

Long abstract:

States around the world are openly cultivating 'hostile environments' toward non-citizens in efforts to root out individuals who have entered illegally, overstayed visas and/or committed certain criminal offenses. But what happens to society when such deportable individuals are bound up in social and family networks that consist of settled migrants and citizens? This panel will explore the impacts of deportability on the process of settling in 'hostile environments,' and how this affects citizens, as well as non-citizens. ​ Unlike deportation itself, deportability (the threat of removal from a state) does not necessarily exclude migrants physically, but instead includes them socially, under conditions of protracted vulnerability. There is debate in the anthropological literature about whether deportable migrants are abject or autonomous subjects and whether deportability leads to health disadvantages or effective coping strategies. The economic hardships and anxieties that deportable migrants endure can manifest as illness and become visibly embodied as scars, tumors, etc. While active participation in collectives (religious groups, social movements, etc.) can be a way for deportable migrants to transcend abjection, there is also evidence that negative effects of deportability extend to migrants who are legally settled or even to children and spouses who are citizens of the host country. We invite contributions that address (but are not limited to) the following topics: experiences of structural violence among deportable migrants and citizens; spirituality and resistance to deportability; deportability and health in diaspora families; surviving/recovering from deportability.​