Joseph Carens in his 2013 book Ethics of Immigration argues we should not criminalize undocumented migrants. Instead, we should view them as irregular immigrants who are entitled to some general human rights. This article focuses on Caren's discussion of criminalization in light of recent scholarship by John Marquez and Natalie Cisneros pertaining to the Latina/o border death toll, generalized violence, and discourses on undocumented pregnant migrante females as multiplying rats and anchor babies. This article argues that simply relying on a democratic state model to understand the realities of border militarization is not sufficient because it does not perform some of the explanatory functions performed by other non-ideal theories. By synthesizing the views of Cisneros and Marquez, this article distinguishs thick and thin senses of excessive border enforcement and outlines a notion of the racial/sexual state of expendability as a way of making better sense of these violent realities.

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