Returned follows transnational Mexicans as they experience the alienation and unpredictability of deportation, tracing the particular ways that U.S. immigration policies and state removals affect families. Deportation—an emergent global order of social injustice—reaches far beyond the individual deportee, as family members with diverse U.S. immigration statuses, including U.S. citizens, also return after deportation or migrate for the first time. The book includes accounts of displacement, struggle, suffering, and profound loss but also of resilience, flexibility, and imaginings of what may come. Returned tells the story of the chaos, and design, of deportation and its aftermath.
Deborah A. Boehm is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Women's Studies/Gender, Race and Identity at the University of Nevada, Reno, and the author of Intimate Migrations: Gender, Family, and Illegality among Transnational Mexicans.
"Returned is a stellar and nuanced ethnographic exploration of the impact of deportation on Mexican families on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. It is a critical addition to existing work on transnationalism and migration, and required reading for academics and policy makers."—Susan J. Terrio, author of Judging Mohammed: Juvenile Delinquency, Immigration, and Exclusion at the Paris Palace of Justice
"In Returned, Deborah Boehm gives us a rich ethnography full of deep insights into the devastating effects of deportation on individuals and families, as well as on their children who are U.S. citizens. A must-read for anyone interested in Mexican migration to the United States and the unintended consequences of immigration policies."—Leo R. Chavez, author of Covering Immigration: Popular Images and the Politics of the Nation
"In this engaging book, Boehm unpacks the new geographies, temporalities, and physicalities that deportations produce today. Through vivid narratives, she shows how these expulsions recraft, rewrite and profoundly transform the lives of all those touched by this new regime. In doing so, she challenges sterile depictions of deportations in the media and political debates. This urgent book is a must read."—Cecilia Menjívar, author of Immigrant Families
"Boehm has written an outstanding ethnography of the profoundly negative effects of U.S. deportation policy. Focusing on the experiential and embodied realities of deportees, she sketches a powerful portrait of state-produced precarity—of how, through removal, the state undermines migrant livelihoods and well-being, tears couples and families apart, and strips migrant communities of a sense of security. Ultimately, the book offers a brilliant analysis of the local/transnational effects of what Boehm calls an emergent global order of social injustice, an order filled with struggle, loss, and suffering."—Jonathan Xavier Inda, author of Targeting Immigrants: Government, Technology, and Ethics