Bordering and ordering
in (B)ordering Britain
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Chapter 1 sets out the racial infrastructure of Britain’s immigration law regime, explaining the relationship between colonialism, migration and law. British imperial administrations depended on the exploitation of hierarchies based on supposed differences between categories of people. The use of race as an ordering principle played an important part in enabling and justifying colonialism. I trace the line between the honing of processes of categorisation in the colonial era and immigration law as a practice of racial ordering in modern Britain. I argue that British immigration law is a continuation of colonial power as enacted in the former British Empire. The categorisation of people into those with and without rights of entry and stay sustains and reproduces colonial racial hierarchies. Contemporary immigration law thus maintains the global racial order established by colonialism, whereby racialised populations are disproportionately deprived of access to resources, healthcare, safety and opportunity and are systematically and disproportionately made vulnerable to harm and premature death. In this context recognition and refusal decisions in relation to claims for immigration status in Britain are the everyday work of the colonial state.

(B)ordering Britain

Law, race and empire


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