The Immigration Detention Syllabus

The #ImmigrationDetentionSyllabus is a 16-part series of readings and tools to support education, research, and action to dissect and dismantle the U.S. immigration detention system. The syllabus is organized by theme and curated by historian Tina Shull

 
 
 Mohammad, oil on canvas.  The Refugee Art Project

Mohammad, oil on canvas. The Refugee Art Project

Part 1: On the Inside: Stories from Immigration Detention

Part One, “On the Inside: Stories from Immigration Detention,” provides introductory readings and resources for understanding the U.S. immigration detention system and a list of immigration detention story projects.

 
 Hisako Hibi, 1944. Source:  OAC

Hisako Hibi, 1944. Source: OAC

Part 2: On History

Part Two, “On History,” provides readings, primary sources, and multimedia resources for understanding the history of the U.S. immigration detention system including the era of Chinese exclusion, Japanese internment, Great Depression deportations and Operation Wetback, the War on Drugs, 9/11, and the War on Terror.

 
 Mohammad, pencil on paper.  The Refugee Art Project

Mohammad, pencil on paper. The Refugee Art Project

Part 3: On Media

Part Three, “On Media,” provides readings, reports, and multimedia resources for understanding and analyzing the role of the mass media, narratives, and communications in the immigration debate.

 
  Los emigrantes  by Rafael Barradas, 1912

Los emigrantes by Rafael Barradas, 1912

Part 4: On Race

Part Four, “On Race,” provides readings, reports, and multimedia resources for understanding and analyzing current and historical intersections between race, prisons, and immigration enforcement.

 
 Abbas al Aboudi, “Child in Detention,” pencil on paper.  The Refugee Art Project

Abbas al Aboudi, “Child in Detention,” pencil on paper. The Refugee Art Project

Part 5: On Youth, Family & LGBT Detention

Part Five, “On Youth, Family, and LGBT Detention” provides readings, reports, and tools for understanding how immigration enforcement affects the experiences of women, children, and LGBTQI persons and for challenging family and LGBT detention.

 
 by Marcela Castro.

by Marcela Castro.

Part 6: On Politics and Law

Part Six, “On Politics and Law” provides readings, reports, and multimedia resources for understanding immigration law, the politics behind the immigration debate, and exploring civil rights abuses in detention.

 
 The Refugee Art Project. Source:  Eureka Street

The Refugee Art Project. Source: Eureka Street

Part 7: On Health and Human Rights

Part Seven, “On Health and Human Rights” provides readings, reports, and multimedia resources for exploring and challenging medical neglect and human rights abuses that occur in immigration detention.

 
 Image Credit: Lucy Knowles and  Foothill Dragon Press

Image Credit: Lucy Knowles and Foothill Dragon Press

Part 8: On Labor and Economics

Part Eight, “On Labor and Economics” provides readings and resources for understanding the economic and political foundations of cycles of migrant labor flows to the United States and immigration enforcement, and tools for exposing the costs of the immigration detention system.

 
 Mohammad, coffee on paper.  The Refugee Art Project

Mohammad, coffee on paper. The Refugee Art Project

Part 9: On Private Prisons

Part Nine, “On Private Prisons” builds upon Part Eight, “On Labor and Economics,” with a focus on exposing the origins, abuses, and public costs of the private prison industry.

 

Part 10: On Raids and Policing

Part Ten, “On Raids and Policing,” provides readings, reports, and multimedia resources for understanding and challenging the role of policing, racial profiling, raids, and local law enforcement in expanding the reach of the immigration detention system.

 Mutaza Ali Jafari, “The Fence,” ink and watercolor on paper.  The Refugee Art Project

Mutaza Ali Jafari, “The Fence,” ink and watercolor on paper. The Refugee Art Project

 
 From Laida Lertxundi’s film Sunset Red. Source:  CanadianArt

From Laida Lertxundi’s film Sunset Red. Source: CanadianArt

Part 11: On the Border and Global Refugee Crisis

Part Eleven, “On the Border and Global Refugee Crisis,” provides readings, reports, and multimedia resources for placing the U.S. immigration detention system in the broader contexts of border enforcement and a growing global refugee crisis. It also provides further resources for assessing migrant deaths in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, the relationship between climate change and migration, and immigration detention experiences abroad.

 

Part 12: On Deportation

Part Twelve, “On Deportation,” provides readings, reports, and multimedia resources for understanding the history, experiences, and impacts of deportation, as well as deportation stories projects.

   Separation-themed illustration on a card made by Mohamad Ali, Mahmudah and Amal from Myanmar and Somalia, whose works sold at   Art For Grabs: World Refugee Day  .

Separation-themed illustration on a card made by Mohamad Ali, Mahmudah and Amal from Myanmar and Somalia, whose works sold at Art For Grabs: World Refugee Day.

 
 “Not Welcome” stencil created by an Eritrean refugee. Source:  BBC

“Not Welcome” stencil created by an Eritrean refugee. Source: BBC

Part 13: On Hate

Part Thirteen, “On Hate,” provides readings, reports, and multimedia resources for understanding and tracking the history and influence of nativism, white supremacy, and racial hatred in shaping restrictionist immigration policy, “Trumpism,” and anti-immigrant narratives in media and public discourse.

 
 N., “Resistance,” pencil on paper.  The Refugee Art Project

N., “Resistance,” pencil on paper. The Refugee Art Project

Part 14: On Resistance

Part Fourteen, “On Resistance,” provides readings, reports, and multimedia resources on the history of resistance to immigration detention and incarceration, including hunger strikes and the Sanctuary movement, as well as tools for resisting Trump’s deportation policies.

 
  Syrian refugee children art show  in Long Beach, CA. Photo Credit: Kayra Martinez

Syrian refugee children art show in Long Beach, CA. Photo Credit: Kayra Martinez

Part 15: On Abolition

Part Fifteen, “On Abolition,” provides a set of readings and organizational tools to conceptualize and act upon the necessity to build alternatives to detention and abolish the immigration detention system, prisons, and policing.

 
 Kamaleshwaran Selladurai, “The Fire,” oil on canvas.  The Refugee Art Project

Kamaleshwaran Selladurai, “The Fire,” oil on canvas. The Refugee Art Project

Part 16: On Survival: Tools for Building Community Resilience

Part Sixteen, “On Survival: Tools for Building Community Resilience,” provides a set of readings and tools for self-care and to organize our communities to build sanctuary, monitor detention facilities, launch campaigns, and more.