Christian Pacheco Gomez
Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationNew York, Graduate Center, City U. of
Grant numberGr. 9742
Approve DateOctober 23, 2018
Project TitlePacheco Gomez, Christian, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on ''Tijuana without Borders' and Deportees: Spatial Seclusion and Criminality in Borderlands,' supervised by Dr. Leigh Binford
CHRISTIAN PACHECO GOMEZ, then a graduate student at City University of New York, Graduate Center, New York, New York, was awarded a grant in October 2018 to aid research on “‘Tijuana without Borders’ and Deportees: Spatial Seclusion and Criminality in Borderlands,” supervised by Dr. Leigh Binford. This ethnographic research was conducted over fifteen months in Tijuana (Baja California, Mexico). Through participant observation, life histories, semi-structured interviews, and archival consultation, this research examines deported Mexicans’ livelihoods as they attempted to resume their lives in the United States during the reinforcement of the Mexican-U.S. border and the ongoing tourist “Tijuana without borders” project. Analysis of the data resulted in three major findings about the impact of Tijuana’s tourist redesign through public security targeting deported persons’ circulation around border zones and peripheries. First, the accelerated arrival of migrants identified as asylum seekers — moving mainly from the Global South — has resulted in the displacement of deported persons from the humanitarian market. Second, the development of up-scale plazas in selected zones is producing a mode of vertical accumulation of capital accompanied by surveillance over and exclusion of newcomers, such as deported persons and asylum seekers. Social exclusion draws on stigmatized labels for deported migrants widely disseminated in the United States. Lastly, this research found the convergence of selective re-development and the humanitarian market in Tijuana involves an accelerated process of economic growth and the concentration of migrant populations circulating to and deported from the North in humanitarianized geographies.