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Volume 29 • Number 2

April 2015



Introduction to Special Issue on Immigration

by Grant Silva and José Jorge Mendoza

In popular discourses throughout the world, what often passes for "the immigration debate" consists of several hotly contested issues. These issues include the problem of irregular, clandestine, or "unlawful" migration; the existence of persons who, even if they initially entered through proper channels, currently reside in political communities "without papers" (i.e., out-of-status) and have no legal means of regularizing their presence within the polity; the moral standing and militarization of borders, especially when those borders are used to separate the developed from the developing world; the internal enforcement of immigration law and practices of indefinite detainment and deportation; the use of immigration policy as a mechanism to attract the best and brightest from around the world and the effect this recruitment has on the sending countries. Debate surrounding these topics often elicits strong reactions and emotions from which there is little middle ground upon which to stand. It is almost as if the borders in question not only divide nation-states but also states-of-mind. The one thing everyone can agree on, however, is that as long as human migration, national boundaries, and global inequalities are facts of the world, "the immigration debate" is not going away.

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ISSN: 2152-0542