Critical Reflection of ‘Citizenship and Belonging in a Women’s Immigration Detention Center

Critical Reflection of ‘Citizenship and Belonging in a Women’s Immigration Detention Center

Mary and Blerina conducted a six-month study on IRC Yarl’s Wood, the primary removal center for immigrant women. Their main argument on migration centers is that they are ‘zones of exclusion’ for minority races and communities. People from southern states are given different treatment from those belonging to the European Union. The advanced policing activities on immigrants exemplify this. To support their arguments, they cite other scholars who agree with them. On my part, I think that they offer completely valid arguments. This is considering there have been efforts by governments developed states to reduce immigration, especially from Africa. This clearly illustrates that these countries regard third world countries as inferior and as those that cannot add any value to them; they are burdens. Mary and Blerina also support their assessment by describing the lives of the detainees in the center. They are allowed to move only to certain places, they can only share their food with certain people and can’t learn English. “…not prisoners, but definitely not free…” is how they describe them. They are denied rights enjoyed by the average British, despite some having valid visas.

Mary and Blerina examined the nature of relationships that exist in the center. “…unified only by their lack of British citizenship…” is a statement the two make about the relations. The relationships of these people are highly characterized by nationalism. They prove this by using statistics of nationality. This is because of the national diversity in the center. The center had contained sixty-eight nationalities by the time the fieldwork was conducted. Some of the major nationalities are China, Nigeria, Jamaica, and India. Conflict is a primary social dynamic in the detention center, as people of certain nationalities align themselves with their own, and they keep differing with the others. This point can also be used to support the idea of citizenship and patriotism. Another cause of eternal conflict in the center is religion. There live people from all types of faith; Christians, Hindus, and Muslims. The people in this population are also divided by simple issue as food and sexuality. Discrimination is also another important dynamic of the relations in the camp. This is illustrated by the fact that staff members do not teat the whole population in a similar manner. To conclude this matter with my idea, I think that partly, a mixture of nationalities in the centers in some way may justify why Britain and other developed countries do not want immigrants.

Another issue that captures my attention concerning this paper by is the stories the women give concerning Britain. Most of them, especially from Africa don’t want to be deported or removed. They prefer to remain there because, while there, they are allowed free will, and also to use their brain. Most African traditions are dominated by men, and a woman’s work is in the house and to do what the man wants. In Britain, they say they have chances to fulfill their dreams. I think these are valid pleas because, in Africa, most women only end up giving birth and staying at home. When they are allowed to work, this will boost GDP and economies.

In conclusion of this paper, I would like to state that detention center, due to their characteristics, are meant to discourage immigration, especially illegal. They are used to show the immigrants how insignificant they are in the host countries. I think he should be a source of teaching in developing countries to create opportunities for their people, especially women.



Works Cited

Bosworth, M. and Kellezi, B., 2014. Citizenship and Belonging in a Women’s Immigration Detention Center. New Directions in Race, Ethnicity and Crime, pp 80-96.

Bosworth, M, and Kellezi, B., 2013. Developing a Quality of Life in Detention.

Bosworth, M. and Slade, G., 2014. In Search for Recognition: Gender and Staff-Detainee relations in a British immigration removal center. Punishment & Society, 16(2), pp. 169-186.

Bosworth, M. 2013. Can immigration centers be legitimate? Understanding confinement in the global world. The Borders of Punishment, Migration, Settlement and Social Exclusion, pp. 149-165.

Kellezi, B. and Bosworth, M., Citizenship and belonging in a women’s immigration detention center. New directions in race, ethnicity, and crime (pp 90-106). Routledge.