We have recently published Geoff Boyce in the political geography section of Geography Compass, on ‘Immigration, Policing, and the Politics of Time.‘ Geoff’s review article argues for examining the centrality of time to spatialized modes of control in immigration policing. The article would have been a timely contribution even before the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Americas, but it can now be read in light of the ‘deadly consequences’ of maintaining a ‘business as usual’ approach to immigrant detention at the US-Mexico border (link here to the Youth Circulations blog).
This article argues for time and temporality as a critical dimension in the dialectical articulation of im/migration struggles. To make this case, the article draws on an emerging body of interdisciplinary scholarship on the temporal dimensions of im/migration and of im/migration policing. It then uses this framework to explore a host of anti‐im/migrant initiatives currently unfolding in North America under the geopolitical leadership of Donald J. Trump. Contextualizing these initiatives within a longer genealogy of im/migration and im/migration policing across the continent, the article affirms scholarly characterizations of im/migrants’ desires and aspirations as a “creative force” that “structurally exceed” border controls (The contested politics of mobility: Borderzones and irregularity); but it also argues a need for greater scholarly attention to how the violence associated with im/migration policing generates nonlinear im/migration dynamics and recursive pressures on nation‐state borders and their police apparatus over the long durée. The article concludes by considering the theoretical, political, and empirical stakes of a conceptual shift in emphasis from space to time in the study of im/migration and im/migration policing, and then offers several concrete suggestions for further inquiry.