Navigating Irregularity: The State, Immigration Bureaucracy, and Surveillance in Chile
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The focus of this thesis is the political space of migrant irregularity in Chile, specifically the development and maintenance of this political space by the Chilean state and its bureaucracy, as well as the resilience and agency of the migrants who are often faultlessly irregular. It sheds light on how Latin American migrants are subject to debilitating living conditions characterized by extreme ambiguity and waiting, while constantly being forced to demonstrate resilience and resourcefulness to survive. Additionally, it examines how the hyper-surveillance of the Chilean community is detrimental to the lives of irregular migrants. This thesis argues that migrant irregularity occurs in Chile when the state and its bureaucracy conflict and encourage large-scale migration while simultaneously being unable to support such large numbers of migrants. The main goal of the thesis is to unpack the source of migrant irregularity as well as discuss how migrants navigate it in everyday life.