(Un)making illegality: Border control, racialised bodies and differential regimes of illegality in Morocco by Lorena Gazzotti
March 2 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Lecture: (Un)making illegality: Border control, racialised bodies and differential regimes of illegality in Morocco by Lorena Gazzotti
What role does race play in the construction of illegality in the face of pervasive border control? Illegality is widely recognized as a constructed category, produced by immigration policies and activated by racialized forms of prejudice aimed at criminalising the mobility of marginalized communities. Scholars, however, have tended to overlook how white privilege influences and alters the workings of border control. Drawing on research in Morocco, in this talk I will argue that illegality is a label which is racially altered and expanded by border bureaucrats, who use it to differentially police the presence of migrant bodies pre-emptively visualized as legal or illegal. Whereas black people undergo pervasive containment procedures, white privilege allows white migrants to be oblivious of the border, even when their administrative situation is not compliant with migration law.
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About the Speaker:
Lorena Gazzotti is the Alice Tong Sze Research fellow at Lucy Cavendish College and CRASSH, University of Cambridge. Her work explores the surveillance and racialisation of inequality at the Spanish-Moroccan border. Her first book, ‘Immigration Nation. Aid, control and border politics in Morocco’ is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press.