Date of Thesis

Spring 2021


The enforcement of immigration policy in the United States has become an increasingly important issue over the past several decades. Predominant methods of enforcement have been criticized as costly, inhumane, and inefficient. The use of electronic monitoring devices, commonly known as ankle monitors (or similar technology) has been proposed as a means of alleviating the problems of physical detention without sacrificing border security. However, given the harmful convergence of discourses of racialization, criminality, and immigration, I argue that we must critically examine the subtle ways in which the use of electronic monitoring devices may contribute to unethical enforcement practices. Particularly, I caution that affixing an electronic monitoring device -- a physical representation of otherness and criminality -- to the (likely non-white) bodies of immigrants, contributes to the propagation of racist, xenophobic, and nativist fearmongering. I, with the support of the Bucknell Survey Center, conducted a survey of a representative sample of 1200 respondents in order to support this claim. The survey gauged respondents’ views on electronic monitoring and immigration, and provided results which empiricize my analysis of the condition of immigration enforcement in the United States and the consequences for dignity of the proliferation of electronic monitoring.


Electronic Monitoring, Immigration Enforcement, Reification, Dignity, Racialization, Criminalization

Access Type

Honors Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Adam Burgos

Second Advisor

Vanessa Massaro