A journal of academic theology

Internalized Borders: Immigration Ethics in the Age of Trump

The Trump administration’s immigration measures and attendant dehumanizing rhetoric have fanned the flames of nationalism and sown fear in communities. Its internal enforcement strategies are bolstered by manipulative narratives that perpetuate myths and reflect facile analyses of complex dilemmas, focusing on symptoms rather than causes of migration. Reducing immigration questions to the locus of border crossers alone eclipses from view transnational actors responsible for economic instability, violent conflict, or labor recruitment, and also eclipses their accountability. Recent developments in migration ethics help illuminate significant historical and structural contexts of migration as well as models of justice and norms for negotiating duties of reception that better reflect such relationships. Attending to underlying fears and idolatries that contribute to exclusionary dynamics also emerges as critical for advancing just policy reforms and cultivating civic friendship moving forward.

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