Waiting in Captivity: Slow Borders, Predatory Bureaucracies, and the Necrotemporality of Asylum Deterrence





asylum, bureaucracies, waiting, temporality, necropolitics, Mexico


In recent years, the US government has implemented several bureaucratic changes aimed at stalling the influx of asylum seekers. From the “metering” system initiated under the Obama administration to the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) implemented by the Trump administration, these measures have erected a bureaucratic wall against asylum seekers that has kept them captive in Mexican border cities. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Tijuana, Mexico, I examine how these policies have produced deadly conditions for asylum seekers by calibrating time and space in such a way that increases their exposure and vulnerability to highly precarious environments and predatory bureaucracies.


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Author Biography

Carlos Martinez, Department of Latin American & Latino Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA

Carlos Martinez is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He can be reached at carlosmartinez@ucsc.edu.


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How to Cite

Martinez, C. (2023). Waiting in Captivity: Slow Borders, Predatory Bureaucracies, and the Necrotemporality of Asylum Deterrence. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 39(2), 1–17. https://doi.org/10.25071/1920-7336.41069

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