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Girvetz 2320

In this talk, Dr. Amir Aziz examines post-9/11 informant recruitment programs that have enlisted Muslim immigrants as counter-terrorism intelligence informants across the New York City metropolitan area. Dr. Aziz argues that federal agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the FBI have particularly targeted Muslim immigrant women and gender non-normative Muslim immigrants of South Asian, South-East Asian, and South West Asian and North African (SWANA) background with vulnerable immigration status. Agents ply them with false promises of immigration relief and employ removal threats to coax them into becoming ‘compliant’ informants. Despite how cases like Hassan v. City of New York and FBI v. Fazaga have attempted to end the suspicionless surveillance and intelligence recruitment of Muslims, such practices are informally authorized outside the judicial purview. The impossibility of subjects to seek redress further underlines the limits of humanist protocols of liberal rights and representation, pointing to how such gendered/racialized practices of violability and containment are constitutive to liberal modernity’s conception of the human subject.

Amir Aziz is a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at UC Berkeley.