Subordinating Space: Immigration Enforcement, Hierarchy, and the Politics of Scale in Mexico and Central America

Abstract

In recent years, security and immigration enforcement has expanded rapidly throughout Mexico. From checkpoints and patrols to a vast system of detention and deportation, Mexican officials have implemented far-reaching measures to curtail international migration from Central America. Many of these efforts have been concentrated along the Mexico–Guatemala border and deep within southern Mexico, culminating in Programa Frontera Sur, a militarized approach to border security implemented in 2014. In this article, we explore how security and immigration enforcement in Mexico rely on spatial hierarchies that divide north and south. The practice of security and immigration enforcement has received significant attention across many disciplines. The notion of spatial hierarchies and the ways in which scalar differentiation impinges upon well-being has been less covered. As we show, these hierarchies partition North and Central America according to colonial modes, subordinating the latter as inferior while working across global, national, and local scales. Crucially, the linkages between securitization and the spatialization of hierarchies provide insights into nation-building and regional identity, where Mexico and the United States are increasingly designated as separate from South and Central America.

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Published
2022-06-07
How to Cite
Jared Van Ramshorst, & Walker, M. (2022). Subordinating Space: Immigration Enforcement, Hierarchy, and the Politics of Scale in Mexico and Central America. Borders in Globalization Review, 3(2), 14-25. https://doi.org/10.18357/bigr32202220403
Section
Articles