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Secure Communities

My artifact is Donald Trump's Executive Order reinstating the 'Secure Communities', first introduced and then abandoned by President Obama. The EO endows local police forces with immigration and deportation responsibilities. It obligates compliance by threatening to rescind federal funding for cities that resist or proclaim themselves as Sanctuary Cities. For me, this EO provides an insidious and terrible piece in the emerging apartheid world order that utilizes militarist forms of security to barricade the global north and police the movement of people from the global south. My project argues that new regimes of labor and mobility control are taking shape across the global north in a militarized form that mimics South Africa's history of apartheid. Secure Communities enables such apartheid by targeting undocumented people for surveillance, arrest, and deportation based on racial profiling in a manner directly parallel to South Africa's pass law system.


Participant: Catherine L. BESTEMAN
Dept. of Anthropology | Colby College
Symposium Co-Organizer