Articles | Volume 69, issue 5
Standard article
22 Dec 2014
Standard article |  | 22 Dec 2014

Transnational productions of remoteness: building onshore and offshore carceral regimes across borders

A. Mountz and J. Loyd

Abstract. This article examines transnational framings of domestic carceral landscapes to better understand the relationship between offshore and onshore enforcement and detention regimes. US detention on mainland territory and interception and detention in the Caribbean serves as a case study. While the US domestic carceral regime is a subject of intense political debate, research, and activism, it is not often analyzed in relation to the development and expansion of an offshore "buffer zone" to intercept and detain migrants and asylum seekers. Yet the US federal government has also used offshore interception and detention as a way of controlling migration and mobility to its shores. This article traces a Cold War history of offshore US interception and detention of migrants from and in the Caribbean. We discuss how racialized crises related to Cuban and Haitian migrations by sea led to the expansion of an intertwined offshore and onshore carceral regime. Tracing these carceral geographies offers a more transnational understanding of contemporary domestic landscapes of detention of foreign nationals in the United States. It advances the argument that the conditions of remoteness ascribed frequently to US detention sites must be understood in more transnational perspective.