Binational Politics from Intimate Scales: Women and Trans Deportees and Return Migrants in Mexico City


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




Since 2008, more Mexicans have left the United States, both by deportation and return migration, than migrated to it. Existing scholarship has focused on deportation as a male phenomenon, and paid relatively little attention to return migration. Based on 16 months of ethnographic research with deportees and returnees in Mexico City, this project argues that while the majority of deportees and return migrants are indeed cisgender men, women and trans deportees and returnees carry out fundamental community-building and activism. At the same time as they have developed and mobilized an intimate knowledge of the bureaucracies of both the US and Mexico that has facilitated the long-term process of emplacement for all deportees/return migrants and their families, they have re-conceptualized migration activism away from belonging in the United States in favor of advocating for equal access to mobility.