Hofstra Law Review
Hofstra L. Rev.
Deportation is a legal concept about which much has been written. But it is more complicated. For noncitizens, forced expulsion is a lived experience occurring in time and space — an act against the body, mostly black and brown bodies. In this Article, we part ways with the well-established narratives of deportation and the punishment/non-punishment paradigm to conceive of deportation not only as a legal concept, but as a physical act — the final act — that is, the culmination of the immigration enforcement dragnet. The physical removal of persons from the United States requires a complex system comprised of aviation networks and their various components, airports and airplanes, hangars and flight crews, and an array of physical restraints to intimidate, punish, or subdue deportees. We examine this infrastructure to illuminate the circumstances of expulsion and the egregious rights violations often suffered by deportees — violations that are almost always hidden from public view.