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Open Access Publications from the University of California

ICE Raids: Compounding Production, Contradiction, and Capitalism

  • Author(s): Reas, Elizabeth I
  • et al.

Taking into consideration recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) workplace raids, this project argues that American and Mexican factory workers’ subjectivities are constructed within factory walls and (re)produced in the process of ICE raids. Works by gender theorists Leslie Salzinger, Donna Haraway, and Gloria Anzaldúa serve as a critical lens from which to analyze how changing legal, economic, and political notions of the nation and its citizens reconstruct laborers' rights and bodies. By tracing back economic and immigration policies such as NAFTA and Homeland Security developments, workers’ subjectivities are situated within the larger context of expanding neoliberal economic institutions. The paper culminates in the argument that the current construction of non-citizen workers in the United States is both potentially constraining and enabling. Though workers are held complacent by their vulnerability and ambiguity, their contradictory positions also offer spaces of resistance from which to understand, act upon, and subvert their present condition.

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