‘Race’, Crimmigration and the Deportation of Aboriginal Non-citizens

  • Louise Boon-KuoEmail author


Immigration detention and criminal deportation have both formed central concerns in a growing body of scholarship on the interrelationship between criminal and immigration law regimes: a field known as “crimmigration”. Given the integral role that “race” has played in social stratification, it is no surprise that as this field of research has developed, scholars have started to identify racialised dimensions of crimmigration. Yet even when race is centred, the role of settler colonialism as constitutive of racial formation remains marginal, which risks distorting how we see race and racism. By exploring the contemporary application of Australian criminal deportation provisions to exclude Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people who are not Australian citizens, this chapter reveals the foundational and continuing role of “race” and “whiteness” in the formation of Australian sovereignty and citizenship. It builds on existing explanations for punitive approaches in immigration law enforcement by contending that such approaches can be understood as part of the expressive performance of patriarchal white sovereignty responding to the crisis of legitimacy of its illegal foundation. Although the focus is on Australian practices, its discussion of Indigenous sovereignty and crimmigration is also relevant for other settler colonial states such as the United States, Canada and New Zealand.


Race Crimmigration Deportation Indigenous sovereignty Settler colonialism 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sydney Law SchoolThe University of SydneyNSWAustralia

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