The Incorrigible Subject: The Autonomy of Migration and the US Immigration Stalemate

  • Nicholas De Genova


The techniques of contemporary regimes of border policing and immigration law enforcement along the US-Mexican border are only apprehensible in relation to another reality: the embodied materiality of ‘illegal’ migrants. These humble border crossers are the ‘incorrigible’ subject of virtually all contemporary border regimes. As autonomous subjects, with their own aspirations, needs, and desires, which necessarily exceed any regime of immigration and citizenship, migrants’ mobility projects enact an elementary freedom of movement to which borders are intrinsically a response. Rather than defining borders as exclusionary apparatuses, it thus becomes crucial to perceive the contradictory processes of subordinate inclusion mediated by border controls. In consideration of these complications, De Genova’s chapter sheds light on the current US immigration stalemate and the political struggles of ‘illegal’ migrants.


Migrant Labor Undocumented Migrant Border Control Border Patrol Border Enforcement 
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© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas De Genova
    • 1
  1. 1.ChicagoUSA

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