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This essay examines the devolution of immigrant detention and deportation efforts domestically and internationally. It addresses the outsourcing of detention operations to surrogate jailers and the use of strategic global locations to detain migrants and would-be migrants. These efforts are historical processes with deep roots in domestic detention history and reflect the U.S. government’s growing reliance on more remote and flexible, nonfederal resources to accomplish national enforcement goals, often leading to ambiguities in legal protection—endangering the rights and well-being of detainees—as well as promoting uncertain government accountability and nebulous limits to the authority of surrogate jailers.

This essay addresses Filipino sailors’ shifting racial locations in the military hierarchy of the U.S. Navy during World War II. Using archived correspondence between military officials and civilians, the essay explores Filipinos’ hierarchical location in a complex system of U.S. military racial segregation. It explores varying “preferences” for Filipino messmen in relation to other racially subordinated military personnel as well as civilian complaints of racial segregation in a time of war. The essay considers these civilian pressures and the geopolitical relationship between the United States and the Philippines that led to the U.S. military’s reluctant and cosmetic makeover of its racist enlistment system before more inclusive integration of the U.S. military after World War II.

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