Professor José Jorge Mendoza is featured in the first episode of Borderland: An Interview Series on Immigration Ethics: José Mendoza on Immigration Enforcement, Crimmigration, Abolition and Anti-Colonialism hosted by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.
In the interview, Mendoza explores enforcement in immigration ethics and the social construct of being an undocumented person through a philosophical lens. He notes the harsh reality of current immigration enforcement policies—which have led to thousands of deaths in the Sonoran Desert and drownings in the Mediterranean Sea—and suggests that these deaths ought to motivate us to reexamine and change our current immigration policies.
Furthermore, he examines how immigration law violations are currently dealt with in the same way as criminal law violations, with the use of holding cells and jails, even though immigration violations are technically administrative law violations. Mendoza also touches on how the criminalization of immigration enforcement has tasked police officers with performing immigration enforcement duties, both at the expense of their primary mandate to protect and serve, and the alienation from communities with large immigrant populations.
Mendoza argues that in order to create a just immigration system we must know why and how the current systems were created in order to dismantle them and create new and better systems.
Watch or read the entire interview with Professor José Mendoza on the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics’ Borderland series website.