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Protect, Serve, and Deport

The Rise of Policing as Immigration Enforcement

Amada Armenta (Author)

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Paperback, 212 pages
ISBN: 9780520296305
June 2017
$34.95, £27.00
Other Formats Available:
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Protect, Serve, and Deport exposes the on-the-ground workings of local immigration enforcement in Nashville, Tennessee. Between 2007 and 2012, Nashville’s local jail participated in an immigration enforcement program called 287(g), which turned jail employees into immigration officers who identified over ten thousand removable immigrants for deportation. The vast majority of those identified for removal were not serious criminals, but Latino residents arrested by local police for minor violations. Protect, Serve, and Deport explains how local politics, state laws, institutional policies, and police practices work together to deliver immigrants into an expanding federal deportation system, conveying powerful messages about race, citizenship, and belonging.

List of Illustrations

1. Who Polices Immigration?
2. Setting Up the Local Deportation Regime
3. Being Proactive: On the Streets in Southeast Nashville
4. Seeing and Not Seeing Immigration: Immigrant Outreach in an Era of Proactive Policing
5. Inside the Jail: Processing Immigrants for Removal
6. Punishing Illegality

Appendix: Fieldwork FAQs
Amada Armenta is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.
“Local police and sheriffs are increasingly involved in identifying and reporting suspected illegal immigrants, assuming the role of junior partners in federal immigration enforcement in many communities. How do they feel about the deportation implications of their work? Amada Armenta answers this question by looking closely at what officers are doing in Nashville, Tennessee, a city divided in its views about immigrants. Armenta artfully weaves participants’ justifications for their actions with her own scholarly analysis, finding that bureaucratic priorities, relevant laws, and local norms all help officers distance themselves from the frequently grave consequences of their work.”—Doris Marie Provine, Professor Emerita, School of Justice and Social Inquiry, Arizona State University
“Drawing on rich interviews and observations, this work evocatively shows how local police and jail employees have been drawn unwittingly into arresting and deporting hundreds of thousands of law-abiding immigrants and how this activity erodes trust in the police and fractures families and communities. This is painful but essential reading.”—Charles R. Epp, coauthor of Pulled Over: How Police Stops Define Race and Citizenship
“This engaging, fine-grained ethnography takes us into the world of those charged with enforcing immigration laws. In vivid detail it unpacks the subtleties, intricacies, and contradictions of the job. Protect, Serve, and Deport contains an abundance of insights to make us pause to think as we see and examine the products of the enforcement regime. At a time when enforcement is expanding, this book is increasingly salient for understanding how enforcement is actually performed. It is essential, critical, urgent reading today.”—Cecilia Menjívar, author of Enduring Violence: Ladina Women’s Lives in Guatemala 

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