Has Someone taken your passport? Everyday Surveillance of the Migrant Laborer as Trafficked Subject

Project MUSE – Biography-Volume 42, Number 3, 2019muse.jhu.edu

My article in this collection is entitled, “Has Someone taken your passport? Everyday Surveillance of the Migrant Laborer as Trafficked Subject” is now available.
https://muse.jhu.edu/article/742992

This article examines the role of the missing passport in human rights discourse about migrants who experience violence in the form of human trafficking. Fukushima argues that the passport and mechanisms of documentation that emerge in human trafficking survivor accounts are central to legal and social appeals for recognition. Through a scavenger methodology, the essay analyzes the “missing passport” in campaign materials, a survivor memoir (Shyima Hall), and court testimonies in U.S. v. Kil Soo LeeRana v. IslamLipenga v. KambalameGurung v. MalhotraU.S. v. Firas Majeed et al., and U.S. v. Wood. Ultimately, Fukushima explores how the question “has someone taken your passport?” discursively and socially compels the everyday person to participate in surveillance, thus witnessing transnational migrant laborers through the racializing and policing logics of biographic mediation that justify neighborly suspicion.

This article is one of many wonderful contributions in Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly (Vol. 42, no. 3). It is in a special issue, Biographic Mediation: On the Issues of Personal Disclosure in Bureaucracy and Politics edited by Ebony Coletu. Contributors include: Michelle Jones, Sara Ahmed, Aly Wane, Cristina Plamadeala, Mercy Romero, Leigh Gilmore, Rhondda Robinson Thomas, Amita Swadhin, Kimberly McKee, Aimee Morrison, and yours truly. 

I hope you will teach it and any other articles in this special issue, read it, cite it.

https://muse.jhu.edu/issue/41516?fbclid=IwAR3otgcl4m6eCxLRyvbrapE6clsOlbSZuM0BXWmtAqNwh2F-Oz4brtgOtmo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.