The Logistics of Detention
At the intersection of logistics and migration, I focus on US for-profit immigrant detention centres as nodes within global capital flows. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centres process humans through transnational, encoded power systems, which couple tightly to the logics, infrastructure, and public-private strategies that comprise the international logistics industry. Migrants move from the country of origin to the US as itinerant labour, and as bodies to meet detention-centre quotas, forming patterns where chain migration is transformed into supply chain. The immigration detention system is an industrialisation of humans, and its administration processes are intersectoral and vertically integrated. I use the southeastern US logistics hub of Georgia, and its capital Atlanta, to illustrate the intersection of logistics and immigration detention systems. I demonstrate how the immigrant detention systems’ scale and its architecture – its spatial contours and manifestations – mirror those systems of international supply chain coordination, assembly, transport, and sale.
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