Historicising Australian Deportation of 'Suspect' and 'Undesirable' Migrant Communities
The overall aim of the paper is to present evidence on the factors underpinning historical deportation cases, by exploring the reasons, explanations and patterns related to deportation in Australia. The purpose is to consider whether these historical factors are antecedent to current forms of deportation occurring in Australia, and to bring to the fore potential recurring patterns. Deportation is currently conceptualised by border criminologists as a punitive tool of discipline and control, within the realm of penal powers. Some of this work on the ‘deportation regime’ asserts that certain migrants, or groups of migrants, are undesirable: their identity, (not)belonging and punishment have become inherently intertwined, and their mobility has become politicised and criminalised. This article theorises that deportation has been used in Australia, now and in the past, to expel individuals who are viewed as detrimental to the ‘health’ of the host society. The ‘deportation categories’ demonstrate that migrants’ desirability has historically been a temporary condition, shifting over time in line with the state’s requirements. They also demonstrate the historical regime of criminalisation of undesirable others enacted through Australia’s border control regime.
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