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Between 2016 and 2019, thousands of migrant children were held at a detention camp in Homestead, a peripheral suburb of Miami, Florida. The detention of migrant children in Homestead reveals the intimate relationship between carceral, militarized, and environmental violence in the U.S. Ostensibly a site of humanitarian “care” for detained children, the camp was adjacent to a military base and surrounded by toxic waste from a military Superfund site and injurious sounds from the nearby base runway. This talk situates the detention camp in relationship to the base and to broader attachments to war in the suburb. Part of a larger project on the domestic geographies and ecologies of counterinsurgent war, it draws on ethnographic fieldwork with social workers and security guards employed at the camp, environmental remediation experts and city planners, and soldiers and pro-military activists to show how U.S. war-making is sustained through the suburban landscape.
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