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110 Geo. L.J. 445 (2021-2022)
Racial Borders

handle is hein.journals/glj110 and id is 454 raw text is: ARTICLES
Racial Borders
E. TENDAY ACHIUME*
This Article explores the treatment of race and racial justice in domi-
nant liberal democratic legal discourse and theory concerned with inter-
national borders. It advances two analytical claims. The first is that
contemporary national borders of the international order-an order that
remains structured by imperial inequity-are inherently racial. The
default of liberal borders is racialized inclusion and exclusion that privi-
leges whiteness in international mobility and migration. This racial
privilege inheres in the facially neutral legal categories and regimes of
territorial and political borders and in international legal doctrine. The
second is that central to theorizing the system of neocolonial racial bor-
ders is understanding race itself as border infrastructure. That is, race
operates as a means of enforcing liberal territorial and political borders,
and as a result, international migration governance is also a mode of
racial governance. Normatively, this Article outlines the specific rela-
tional injustices of racial borders.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION. ..........................................................  446
I. THE HISTORICAL ORIGINS OF RACIAL BORDERS..................... ... 455
II. THE CONTEMPORARY SYSTEM OF RACIAL BORDERS.................. ...464
A. MIGRATION, MOBILITY, AND ASYLUM REGIMES ................. ..  466
1. Citizenship, Passports, and Visas ..................      466
2. Refugee and Asylum Regimes ....................           476
B.  RACE AS  BORDER.........................................     480
C. RACIAL BORDER DOCTRINE IN INTERNATIONAL LAW............. .... 488
* Alicia Minana Chair in Law, UCLA School of Law. © 2022, E. Tendayi Achiume. This Article has
benefitted significantly from the wisdom of many more people than it is permissible to name in a
footnote. Thank you to all of the profoundly incisive, supportive, skeptical, and ambivalent interlocutors
who helped me work through this first iteration of Racial Borders you know who you are. I would also
like to thank the following for their stellar research assistance: Cooper Christiancy, Marc Jacome, Erin
Shields, Mykel Skinner, and Rob Viano. With all its imperfections, this Article is nonetheless dedicated
to every person who carries fatal borders on their body.

445

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