ABSTRACT

This chapter outlines five distinct aspects of the crimmigrant other as a penal subject: the crimmigrant body, illegality, deportability, the spectacle, and knowledge. The surveillance practices directed at crimmigrant bodies demonstrate that the crimmigrant other’s identity is strongly marked by distrust and suspicion. For an “illegal immigrant”, in the United States context often referred to as an “illegal alien”, rule-breaking is close to being an existential condition. By the technological coding of bodies which are moving across borders, migrants are inscribed in the state-created production of truth about human movement. The bodies of young asylum seekers thus become the ultimate source of knowledge about their true age and, consequently, determine the rights and protection they will receive. The deviant act of unauthorised border crossing and residence is essentially defined by the premise of global inequality, which encourages the free cross-border movement of some groups and creates insurmountable legal and economic obstacles to the movement of others.