"lllegal" Immigrants: Law, Fantasy, and Guts

Philosophy in the Contemporary World 21 (1):99-109 (2014)
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Abstract

This paper exammes the construction and de-construction of the "illegal" immigrant in media spectacle and public discourse. I examme the manner in which hnmigrants are rendered "illegal" and then processed through a mechanism of dehumanization where they are simultaneously located in and outside the space of law. In this process, the "illegal" immigrant is stripped of rights, humanity, and intention. The "illegal" immigrant, seen merely as a body or text, becomes a thing—more precisely, a type of equipment, that as equipment, as Martin Heidegger observed, eventually becomes "obtrusive" and thus a target of nativist violence.

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Carlos Alberto Sanchez
San Jose State University

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