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Criminology Seminar Series - Gendered Racism and Criminal Justice System: Punishing Illegalised Migrant Mothers from the Global South

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Venue: Online, Online

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Gendered Racism and Criminal Justice System: Punishing Illegalised Migrant Mothers from the Global South
Speaker: Dr Monish Bhatia (Birkbeck, University of London)

Abstract: There is now a hybrid system put in place that draws-in the exclusionary elements of both immigration and criminal justice – explained through the concept of “crimmigration”. This convergence has led to immigration breaches and unauthorised forms of migration being treated as punishable offences under the criminal law, rather than civil matter as has previously been the case. At the same time, it has expanded the powers given to both police and immigration officers to search, arrest and detain those suspected of flouting the immigration rules. Furthermore, different institutions (National Health Service and welfare service to list a few), actors (landlords and employers) and public (encouraged to call on the government hotline and report illegal migrants) are all drawn into border control work.

The research in this area has been useful and it has demonstrated the ways in which state power continues to evolve and become more repressive and punitive. Nevertheless, feminists and race scholars have argued that in analysing the ramifications of these shifts, race and gender are treated as an afterthought, and overall intersectional work within criminology has remained inadequate.

This talk will address the ways in which the state mobilises racialised feminity to control and punish single migrant mothers lacking status. More specifically, it will discuss their experiences of law enforcement, the court and sentencing process, and separation from children (who were put in state foster care) and its impact on both mother and child, reviewing data spanning three studies from 2008-2014; 2014-2015; early 2016-early 2018.

This talk will not be recorded, however you may be interested in these related articles from the speaker:

The Permission to be Cruel: Street-Level Bureaucrats and Harms Against People Seeking Asylum

Crimmigration, imprisonment and racist violence: Narratives of people seeking asylum in Great Britain

Racial surveillance and the mental health impacts of electronic monitoring on migrants

About the Criminology Seminar Series
In line with the School of Law, Birkbeck's research and teaching ethos, the Criminology Seminar Series aims to provide a platform for critical and interdisciplinary research, showcasing prominent and path-breaking research on crime, criminal justice and related themes by scholars from within and beyond Birkbeck. The series is convened by Dr Sappho Xenakis, School of Law, Birkbeck.

Attendance to the events is free but registration is required. Talks from the 2020/21 series will be available for download via the website. Find out more about the series here. The hashtag for the event is #BBKCrimSeries.

This event is open to the public and free to attend however booking is required via this page. The event will be hosted on Collaborate, a free to access website. You will be sent a link to access the event upon registration.

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