Abstract

Critical work theorizing the nature of immigration imprisonment in relation to anthropogenically influenced ecological phenomena is in its infancy. Scholars have productively made sense of the modern carceral state's expansion by locating it within the framework of race and neoliberalism, registering the collateral damage essential to Western European whiteness and a neoliberal problematic. These framings of migrant incarceration continue to effectively serve a critical function. However, this essay argues that the historical character of immigration incarceration is in the process of changing in the face of real and imagined Anthropocene impacts. Increasingly, immigration is the result of ecological collapse, and taking race and neoliberalism as primary frameworks for understanding forces subtending the carceral system has become critically restrictive. This essay develops an environmental genealogy from historical references within Michel Foucault's work on the relationship between land enclosures and rise of the prison, in order to establish a larger constellation in which to think the event of immigration incarceration today. The essay places Foucault's work in conversation with the work of prominent ecologist and white nationalist Garrett Hardin, whose concurrent pro-enclosure work on immigration and the environment inaugurated a coercive truth discourse that has come to impact not only ecological disciplines in the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the environmental humanities but also current US immigration policy.

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