Edited by Katharyne Mitchell, Reece Jones and Jennifer L. Fluri
Chapter 18: Fractures in Australia’s Asia-Pacific border continuum: deterrence, detention and the production of illegality
In a 2014 speech to the Biometrics Institute Asia-Pacific Conference in Sydney, Australia, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, described his administration’s project of constructing what he called a ‘border continuum.’ This expansive vision of border enforcement has come to encompass strategies of deterrence, detention, and the production of illegality aimed at asylum seekers who arrive to Australia by boat. In this chapter, the author argues that while the reach of Australia’s border continuum appears extensive and the practices encompassed within it actively shrink refugees’ access to asylum, it too contains fissures. These fractures within Australia’s border continuum may not radically change the outcomes for refugees, but they do make visible potential – but not always substantial – opportunities for change. Nevertheless, Australian policies are becoming a model for regional border enforcement, and they continue to produce vast amounts of suffering.
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