Wed Jan 14, 2015
In recent years, immigration enforcement levels have soared, yielding a widely noted increase in the number of noncitizens removed from the United States. Less visible, however, has been an attendant sea change in the underlying nature of immigration governance itself, hastened by new surveillance and dataveillance technologies. Like many other areas of contemporary governance, immigration control has rapidly become an information-centered and technology-driven enterprise. At virtually every stage of the process of migrating or traveling to, from, and within the United States, both noncitizens and U.S. citizens are now subject to collection and analysis of extensive quantities of personal information for immigration control and other purposes. This information is aggregated and stored by government agencies for long retention periods in networks of interoperable databases and shared among a variety of public and private actors, both inside and outside the United States, with little transparency, oversight, or accountability.