Postmodern Identity and the Structure of Immigration Control

1. Baumgärtel M, Miellet S, eds. Theorizing Local Migration Law and Governance. Cambridge University Press; 2022.

U of Houston Law Center 2024-A-3

29 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2024 Last revised: 12 Mar 2024

Date Written: September 1, 2022

Abstract

In this chapter, I use the United States as a case study to argue that even the relative consensus and relative cohesion of the postwar period in the United States cannot be recovered. National identity cannot be put back in the bottle. Deeper, postmodern currents in human identity construction render the effort to resurrect the old, more unified national identities Sisyphean. And if those national identities cannot be resurrected, it is not at all clear that trying to bring such identities back to life – especially using immigration law – is a good idea. Any homogenized national identity imposed from on high at this point in human development, especially in the United States, will fail to satisfy a large portion of many nation’s populations, potentially furthering internal conflict, rather than ameliorating it. Because immigra- tion law participates significantly in this identity construction work, it ought to become less centralized and homogenized to accommodate this pluralist reality. Migration governance structures should be decentralized to reflect and reinforce the pluralism of identity that thrives within nation-states and the global solidarities that are emerging between them.

Suggested Citation

Morales, Daniel I., Postmodern Identity and the Structure of Immigration Control (September 1, 2022). 1. Baumgärtel M, Miellet S, eds. Theorizing Local Migration Law and Governance. Cambridge University Press; 2022. , U of Houston Law Center 2024-A-3, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4715513

Daniel I. Morales (Contact Author)

University of Houston Law Center

University of Houston Law Center
4604 Calhoun Road
Houston, TX 77204
United States

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