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Latin@s in Immigration Enforcement: Negotiating Work and Identity at the Intersection of Race, Gender, and Nation

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Abstract:

Drawing on eight in-depth interviews, as well as a ride-along with the border patrol and a tour of an immigration detention facility, I attempt to unpack the experiences of Latin@ immigration enforcement agents by exploring the ways they negotiate the tension between their racial identity and their work in immigration enforcement, a tension manifested in accusations such as “traitor” and “sell out.” Respondents from this understudied group often report a sense of “connection” or relatedness to the migrants they police. This sense of connectedness, however, is balanced against their professional responsibilities to locate, apprehend, and detain unauthorized migrants. In this way, any sense of connection they report is constrained by their professional duties, as well as a work culture that polices the tenor of the interactions between immigration enforcement agents and unauthorized migrants. In negotiating these competing forces, agents articulate various explanations for their involvement in immigration enforcement, including an emphasis on their humane approach to immigration enforcement, the underappreciated presence of “bad guys” on the border, an opposition to stereotyping and discrimination, and characterizing immigration enforcement as “just a job” or “the law.” Drawing primarily on scholarship in border studies and marginalized groups in policing, I suggest these explanations represent the ongoing negotiations between identity and work in which many Latin@ immigration enforcement agents engage and which serve to simultaneously bridge the borders they police, as well as build them up.
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Association:
Name: The Law and Society Association
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http://www.lawandsociety.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p304228_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Prieto, Samuel. "Latin@s in Immigration Enforcement: Negotiating Work and Identity at the Intersection of Race, Gender, and Nation" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Law and Society Association, Grand Hyatt, Denver, Colorado, May 25, 2009 <Not Available>. 2014-11-29 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p304228_index.html>

APA Citation:

Prieto, S. G. , 2009-05-25 "Latin@s in Immigration Enforcement: Negotiating Work and Identity at the Intersection of Race, Gender, and Nation" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Law and Society Association, Grand Hyatt, Denver, Colorado <Not Available>. 2014-11-29 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p304228_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Drawing on eight in-depth interviews, as well as a ride-along with the border patrol and a tour of an immigration detention facility, I attempt to unpack the experiences of Latin@ immigration enforcement agents by exploring the ways they negotiate the tension between their racial identity and their work in immigration enforcement, a tension manifested in accusations such as “traitor” and “sell out.” Respondents from this understudied group often report a sense of “connection” or relatedness to the migrants they police. This sense of connectedness, however, is balanced against their professional responsibilities to locate, apprehend, and detain unauthorized migrants. In this way, any sense of connection they report is constrained by their professional duties, as well as a work culture that polices the tenor of the interactions between immigration enforcement agents and unauthorized migrants. In negotiating these competing forces, agents articulate various explanations for their involvement in immigration enforcement, including an emphasis on their humane approach to immigration enforcement, the underappreciated presence of “bad guys” on the border, an opposition to stereotyping and discrimination, and characterizing immigration enforcement as “just a job” or “the law.” Drawing primarily on scholarship in border studies and marginalized groups in policing, I suggest these explanations represent the ongoing negotiations between identity and work in which many Latin@ immigration enforcement agents engage and which serve to simultaneously bridge the borders they police, as well as build them up.


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Gender, Race and Nation at Work: African Immigrant Women Nurses in the United States


 
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