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Seeking AsylumHuman Smuggling and Bureaucracy at the Border$
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Alison Mountz

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780816665372

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816665372.001.0001

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Stateless by Geographical Design

Stateless by Geographical Design

(p.121) Chapter 5 Stateless by Geographical Design
Seeking Asylum

Alison Mountz

University of Minnesota Press

The term “stateless by geographical design” refers to extraterritorial locations that subject migrants to graduated degrees of statelessness by introducing ambiguity into their legal status. Such sites are created by states to limit migrant access to sovereign spaces and systems. This chapter develops a typology of four kinds of sites: (i) remote detention centers within sovereign territory that restrict access to refugee determination processes; (ii) detention facilities off shore; (iii) short-term stateless zones associated with transit; and (iv) dynamic sites of interdiction abroad. It demonstrates that Canada’s crisis-driven response to human smuggling resonated with enforcement strategies elsewhere, where states’ being in crisis at home gives rise to statelessness off shore. Enforcement practices grow more transnational, and the relationships between migrants, refugees, and nation-states grow more ambiguous as nation-states manipulate geography to deny access.

Keywords:   statelessness, migrants, stateless by geographical design, refugees, nation-states

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