Against the Grain

“Unfree” Labor in Immigration Detention

In many immigration holding facilities, detainees can choose to work for wages. But is the language of choice in this context misleading? Katie Bales deploys the concept of unfree labor to explain what’s going on within what she calls the immigration industrial complex. She emphasizes the historical and geopolitical factors that compel many detainees to agree to work for often miniscule wages.

Boris et al., eds., Global Labor Migration: New Directions University of Illinois Press, 2022

(Photo on main page by DIAC Images.)


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