Racing and gendering immigration politics: analyzing contemporary immigration enforcement using intersectional analysis

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This article examines racialization and gendering processes at work in the proliferation of large-scale immigration raids and military-style roundups that affected disproportionately Latina/o immigrants during the height of the war on terror. These raids which took place in sensitive federal facilities, commercial employment sites, and residences resulted in widespread fear and rapid increases in the apprehension, detention, and deportations of immigrants. Utilizing an intersectional analysis the study dissects three distinct manifestations of race and gender in the raids, each of which highlights a different aspect of recent enforcement practices, while pointing to different applications of race and gender in immigration studies and Political Science: (1) the proliferation of Latina immigrants apprehended and placed in detention; (2) the passage of gendered legislation facilitating the raids; and (3) the invocation of race and gendered discourse within the federal government to justify and defend the raids. Ultimately, employing an intersectional approach provides a more thorough accounting of the multiple constraints at work in immigration politics that is significant to both our understanding of the past and efforts to construct reforms for the future.