The Rights of Noncitizens in the United States
Posted: 10 Jan 2012
Date Written: December 2011
Over the past three decades, sociolegal scholarship on the rights of noncitizens in the United States has sought to explain rights and exclusions while incorporating new theory regarding racialization, biopolitics, neoliberalism, risk, and states of exception. Early work in this period distinguished between legal and illegal immigration, with a focus on assimilation, ethnicity, and new ethnic enclaves in the case of the former, and an examination of the relationship between membership and movement in the case of the latter. Large-scale restructurings of the immigration enforcement regime have made the distinction between citizens and noncitizens more important than before. Thus, scholars have coined such terms as “crimmigration” to describe the unprecedented convergence of criminal and immigration law, “rescaling” to refer to shifts from national to local enforcement efforts, and “securitization” to denote the infusion of antiterrorist measures within immigration policymaking.
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