The Queer Politics of Migration: Reflections on "Illegality" and Incorrigibility
Studies in Social Justice
The most resounding expression of the truly unprecedented mobilizations of migrants throughout the United States in 2006 was a mass proclamation of collective defiance: ¡Aquí Estamos, y No Nos Vamos! [Here we are, and we're not leaving!]. This same slogan was commonly accompanied by a still more forcefully incorrigible rejoinder: ¡Y Si Nos Sacan, Nos Regresamos! [... and if they throw us out, we'll come right back!]. It is quite striking and, as this essay contends, not merely provocative but
... y provocative but genuinely productive to note the affinity between the crucial articulation of this radically open-ended politics of migrant presence with the similarly abject and profoundly destabilizing politics of queer presence. In a manner remarkably analogous to the slogan, "We're here, we're queer, get used to it!", the dynamic enunciation of these phrases in the context of the mass mobilizations of migrants asserted an irreducible spirit of irreverence and disaffection for state power. Both gestures unreservedly and unapologetically assert not only their irreversible presence, furthermore, but also uphold the intractable challenge of their own intrinsic incorrigibility.