Document Type

Honors Project


The thesis has two interrelated concerns. The first explores the emergence of the 100-mile border zone in order to study how the U.S. has expanded its borders inward and redefined notions of national security and carcerality. The second will define the 100-mile border as a carceral frontier that has emerged from previous years of racial security operations such as “Operation Wetback” in 1953. Moreover, I will demonstrate how the 100-mile border zone, a carceral frontier, blends the logic of security and the carceral in order to create a space of total state control. This inward turn of the 100-mile border zone and the security and carcerality of this space reveals much about the constitution of the sovereign state’s right to define and secure its borders within the nation, the rights of the state over that of the citizen, a citizen's right to free movement and due process, and the racial dynamics of security actions. To explore this contradictory logic of security, I conduct an analysis of security language on border and immigration “operations” that constituted the emergence of the 100-mile border zone since 1953. Through this analysis, I will argue that the 100-mile border zone, as a carceral frontier, is a new theoretical development in Critical Carceral Studies. In this way, this thesis will engage in Securitization Studies, Border Theory, and Carceral theories. This type of analysis will reveal that the 100-mile border zone, and the making of this carceral frontier, is inextricably bound to the rights and status of Latinx.



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