Disposable Labor and the Impacts of Deportation
What happens to the 400,000 people who are deported each year? This chapter addresses this question through a discussion of the reintegration of deportees into their home countries. The author argues that the context of reception greatly affects deportees’ experiences. In the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, deportees experience open scorn, making their reintegration nearly impossible. In Guatemala, deportees who have tattoos find themselves victimized by police and gang members. Although thousands of deportees now live in Brazil, Brazilians attach little or no stigma to deportation, viewing it as an unfortunate incident, not a life-changing event. This chapter describes and analyzes narratives of deportees’ reintegration in their native countries. These stories reveal the role deportees play in supporting global capitalism. In many cases, they serve as convenient scapegoats for rising crime. Instead of blaming crime on years of repression, on tremendous inequality, or on poverty, governments blame crime on deportees, who are expendable, stigmatized subjects. This occurs in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Central America, but not in Brazil.
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