Social Death, Dispossession, and Survival in the AmericasEdited by Jamie Longazel and Miranda Cady Hallett
Death threatens migrants physically during perilous border crossings between Central and North America, but many also experience legal, social, and economic mortality. Rooted in histories of colonialism and conquest, exclusionary policies and practices deliberately take aim at racialized, dispossessed people in transit. Once in the new land, migrants endure a web of systems across every facet of their world—work, home, healthcare, culture, justice—that strips them of their personhood, denies them resources, and creates additional obstacles that deprive them of their ability to live fully.
As laws and policies create ripe conditions for the further extraction of money, resources, and labor power from the dispossessed, the contributors to this vibrant anthology, Migration and Mortality, examine restrictive immigration policies and the broader capitalist systems of exploitation and inequality while highlighting the power of migrants’ collective resistance and resilience.
The case studies in this timely collection explore border deaths, detention economies, asylum seeking, as well as the public health and mental health of migrants. Ultimately, these examples of oppression and survival contribute to understanding broader movements for life and justice in the Americas.
Contributors: Karina Alma, Anna M. Babel, Pil H. Chung, Deirdre Conlon, Nicholas De Genova, Alicia Ivonne Estrada, Amelia Frank-Vitale, Nancy Hiemstra, Nolan Kline, Shirley P. Leyro, Marianne Madoré, Linda A. McCauley, Nathan J. Mutic, Joseph Nevins, Juan M. Pedroza, Jared P. Van Ramshorst, Nicholas Rodrigo, Daniel L. Stageman, Abby C. Wheatley, and the editors
“ This poignant collection of essays clearly and boldly drives home the critical point that borders and migration policies lead to premature death and suffering, and, by doing so, carry on the long tradition of a country founded on settler colonialism, genocide, and enslavement. Using a broad range of voices from students to established scholars, the editors and contributors collectively detail the myriad ways U.S. migration policies constitute the worst of the intertwined systems of racism and capitalism. This powerful edited volume would be a great addition to classes on migration, human rights, globalization, social inequality, and race. Migration and Mortality should be required reading for anyone wishing to understand the role of border and migration policies in late capitalism.”
—Tanya Golash-Boza, Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Merced, and author of Deported: Immigrant Policing, Disposable Labor, and Global Capitalism
“Migration and Mortality is a timely, thorough, and compelling volume. Its focus on ‘social death’ to capture a variety of experiences—some of which amount to suffering that translates into ‘slow death,’ while others encompass death more literally—is creative, novel, and needed. This book is a significant contribution to migration studies.”
—Cecilia Menjívar, Dorothy L. Meier Chair in Social Equities and Professor of Sociology at UCLA, and coauthor of Immigrant Families
"Migration and Mortality ’s thematically tight focus offers a well-organized book that is hard to put down.... Because of the denaturalizing work it does, this book would serve as an excellent teaching tool... The book’s thoughtful structure organically lends itself to a course.... Migration and Mortality offers readers different ways to reflect on the relationship between past and present forms of racial capitalism."
"Like the rest of the collection, the epilogue connects individual stories to broader themes in history, theory, and politics. The editors and contributors of this book make a strong case for a multidisciplinary approach to assess the health impacts of migration."
—Journal of American Ethnic History
Undocumented FearsJamie Longazel