Passports in the Time of Trump

25 Symploke: Theoretical, Cultural and Literary Scholarship 155-174 (2017)

UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper

Posted: 5 Jun 2018  

Leti Volpp

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law; University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law Study Group

Date Written: July 31, 2017

Abstract

This essay examines the public reaction to President Trump's three executive orders on immigration ("Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry," "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States," and "Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements") from their January 2017 inception through summer 2017. While the latter two executive orders arguably threaten the most dramatic impact, the first executive order elicited the strongest outcry. Charting the legal shifts presaged and engendered by these three orders, as well their human costs, I posit several reasons for the difference in reaction.

While there are many factors at work, underlying the muted reaction to the border and interior orders is a tacit acceptance of the fact of deportation, in particular of those considered disposable. This acceptance is made clear by examining the reaction to deportations under President Obama and under President Trump (outcry against deportations under Trump seem more about Trump than about deportations). It appears in the monikers for border and interior orders ("The Wall" and "Sanctuary Cities") which emphasize concern for U.S. taxpayers and not for the many other ways these two orders drastically change life for immigrants. It is also evident even in the proposal of a radical ecotopia submitted to the design competition for Trump's border wall, which would create a new, independent co-nation in the US/Mexico borderlands – but which would limit free movement to "law-abiding North American citizens." Deportation is engrained in our vision of the "nation of immigrants"; deportation is part of our everyday.

Paper available online through Project Muse.

Keywords: Immigration, Trump, Deportation, Travel Ban, Muslim Ban, Executive Orders

Suggested Citation

Volpp, Leti, Passports in the Time of Trump (July 31, 2017). 25 Symploke: Theoretical, Cultural and Literary Scholarship 155-174 (2017); UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3180383

Leti Volpp (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law ( email )

215 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law Study Group

Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

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